The CornFest Must Go On:
It may not look the same, but it’s happening in one form or another.
On Tuesday night, 22 members of Revitalization of Youngsville (ROY) and community members came together to decide the fate of Corn Fest 2013.
“Those of us who have worked on it year after year, frankly, need some guidance,” Joanne Oviatt told the gathering.
A number of factors led to questions on whether the event should even take place this year. Organizer burnout, downtown street work in the borough, another community festival over the same summer and a potentially conflicting event at the Rouse property have combined to complicate Corn Fest planning.
The question was one ROY decided was too important to decide on it own so members arrived at the Youngsville Borough Building on Tuesday evening looking for community input.
According to the ROY representatives present, while the annual festival has had little problem garnering volunteers during Corn Fest, more help is needed to organize the event.
At the same time, Youngsville will be celebrating a bicentennial from June 28 to 30, potentially siphoning off vendors and sponsors unable to support two summer community events.
“We need to consider whether Youngsville has enough people and enough energy to sponsor two events,” John Shaughnesy said.
Meanwhile, Streetscape work is tentatively slated to be ongoing during the traditional date of the event on the third weekend in August, effectively making Railroad Street unusable.
Organizers also have concerns another event may conflict with Corn Fest even more directly as some individuals with ROY have heard Rouse Heritage Days may fall on the same weekend as Corn Fest.
“I think they’re doing fireworks already and they’re just expanding over there,” Barb Luce said, adding that she didn’t believe Heritage Days was being scheduled to conflict with Corn Fest, but that organizers may not realize one event could jeopardize the other.
A number of proposals were presented, including not holding Corn Fest until 2014, trying to work in conjunction with the Heritage Days event, waiting a year and trading vendor fees for service in kind organizing in 2014 or holding a limited Corn Fest event with less activities this year. Hosting just a corn maze and car show, which are largely organized independent of other Corn Fest activities, was raised as a possible compromise.
After discussing the issues for more than an hour, the group decided to take a vote by show of hands on whether to even hold the event in 2013. Both representatives of ROY and those attending the meeting were polled and the group overwhelmingly voted to hold Corn Fest in some form in 2013 in order to maintain continuity.
They did not, however, come to a decision on whether Corn Fest events would be limited this year.
The first organizational meeting for Corn Fest 2013 will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Youngsville library.
Of those at Tuesday’s meeting, nine have volunteered to help organize the event, but the group said it welcomes individuals and organizations who would like to provide input or help with the event. Interested persons can attend the Feb. 12 meeting or call Helga Laibacher at 563-4959.