After visiting the farmers market late Saturday morning, I stopped by Urbana’s Sweetcorn Festival (organized by the Urbana Business Association) for some lunch. Admission to the festival was free, but all food and entertainment — and corn — required tickets.
Tickets were $1 each, and food and event prices varied. The Urbana Business Association provided a handy-dandy placard with prices ranges; this made purchasing tickets a little easier, because I only had to do it once.
The list of food vendors was printed in the festival guide. Of all the local summer festivals, Sweetcorn has the fewest local vendors. There are quite a few of those ubiquitous “GRILLED CHICKEN,” “MEAT ON A STICK,” “GYROS,” food vendors at this event. In fact, I overheard one festival attendee asking a vendor why he had two booths at the festival, to which the food vendor replied, “That ain’t us. Often imitated, but never duplicated!” Right.
I won’t lie: I was disappointed by the food selections. Yes, C-U favorites Siam Terrace, Manolo’s, and the Cracked Truck were there, as was new food truck favorite The Pop Stop. But these trucks were just at last weekend’s Taste of C-U event. Where were last year’s participants like Silvercreek?
Saturday afternoon’s weather was completely disgusting. It was overcast, hot and incredibly humid, and every single person was wet. It was as if upon entering the festival vortex, your body was dunked in a sweat tank, just as the corn was dunked in a it’s-probably-not-butter tank. I felt like I was slathered in lard and wrapped in some plastic.
There were plenty of options for kids to do stuff while parents stood and watched. There were inflatables. And concerts. And Prosperity Gardens busted out some veggie stamping activities.
And for adults looking to have a good time, this lovely mechanical bull was there, ready to receive all of the ass sweat. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but I can tell you that the dudes in the photo were gracious.
On another note, Dancing Dog Eatery & Juicery had a tent set up, and was selling t-shirts. I spoke briefly with the owner, and she hopes to be open in a couple of weeks.
Event seating was on the patio of the Courthouse, which was sort of inconvenient.
So I took my ½ Vegasm sandwich from the Cracked Truck, and ate it as I walked around. It was delicious, as usual.
Finally, I went to get my piece of hot, buttered (?) corn. By that point, I felt so disgusting that it was time to sit in the car and blast the A/C. The cob was slimy and hot. It was hard to hold onto, but I managed to wrap the plastic and some papertowel at the base and give it a good grip. And then I put my teeth on it, bit down, chewed, and swallowed. That is how you eat corn.
Check out more of my photos below.