Brentwood Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry York told the City Council this week that many details have yet to be worked out, but he wanted to get the word out now to counter mounting rumors that the city’s largest civic event wouldn’t happen this year, or that it would be held at The Streets of Brentwood. This year’s event will be held the weekend of July 8-10.
Last year’s event, held a block away from its traditional home in City Park due to the civic center construction, suffered a major drop in revenue that was also partly a result of the ongoing recession. The drop-off meant that the 30-plus nonprofit organizations that help run the CornFest received no funding, which in previous years totaled up to $40,000.
As the civic center construction will continue to occupy City Park in July, the CornFest will move to the former Sciortino property (now owned by DeNova Homes) at the intersection of Sand Creek Road and Brentwood Boulevard. The undeveloped land provides more space than previous locations, York said, and will accommodate the festival, parking and carnival all in one, enclosed area.
Dirk Ziegler, this year’s CornFest chairman, said the event will “get back to the core of Brentwood: agriculture.” That means the return of corn eating and shucking contests, miniature tractor races and similar attractions not part of last year’s event.
The Chamber is getting an early jump on things this year, York said, and some major components have already been set. Entertainment will include the local band Public Eye (which for years opened for the Friday night fireworks) and the popular rock ’n’ roll group Great White Band. The carnival will include the world’s largest portable Ferris wheel. And yes, there will be fireworks.
“The site is bigger and it allows for a simpler layout, which will be easier for the permitting process and for people to find their way around,” York said.
Since the nonprofits received no cash for their efforts from last year’s event, there has been concern that the volunteers needed to put on the event might balk at coming back. So far, York said, that’s not the case.
“The response from the nonprofits has been positive,” York said. “I’m getting e-mails saying ‘Count us in.’” As usual, he added, the Chamber is counting on students from local high schools to help at the event as part of their public service required for graduation.
The first full CornFest committee meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Chamber office, 8440 Brentwood Blvd., Suite C. For more information, call 925-634-3344.