The 2011 CornFest – held the weekend of July 8, 9 and 10 – has moved from its usual City Park location (due to downtown construction) to a 38-acre site at Brentwood Boulevard and Sand Creek Road. The treeless, dirt field had sparked concern over the lack of shade trees and abundance of dust, but according to CornFest Chairman Dirk Zeigler, that’s all been handled.
“This year there will be 24,000 square feet of shade tents,” said Zeigler. “In addition to the beer tents, we will have additional oversized tents that will offer a lot more shade than you get under the City Park trees.
“The other concerns have been about dust, and what we’re going to be doing is knocking down the weeds and compacting them and then watering them. According to the farmers, if you compact and spray it down, the dirt turns into a texture like cement. So dust should not be a problem.”
Twenty acres of parking will also relieve visitors of the frustration of searching for a spot. But Zeigler warned that those who park in the Sand Creek Center across from the CornFest will be towed.
“Parking will be good,” said Zeigler. “But we want people to understand that they cannot park in the Sand Creek Center – it’s for shopping only. There is plenty of onsite parking on the south side of Sand Creek. It shouldn’t be a problem for people.”
The shade, dust and parking situations under control, visitors to the three-day event will be free to enjoy the fun, which this year includes the nation’s largest Ferris wheel – a whopping 70 feet tall (“think of that in the sky at night with all the lights,” said Zeigler) – plus more than 300 arts and crafts vendors, a petting zoo, classic car show and continuous live entertainment. Musical guests include AC/Dshe, Great White, Public Eye and Cream of Clapton.
And of course there’s the corn.
“There will be plenty of corn,” said Zeigler. “The hot weather makes for great corn and the farmers are very excited about it. We will have two roasting locations and there will be corn shucking, corn on the cob, corn-flavored ice cream and corn for sale.”
New to the CornFest this year is a historical area showcasing Brentwood’s storied agricultural past. Exhibits will include old-time farming equipment and period pieces from the historical society as well as booths from the Future Farmers of America and local 4-H organizations.
Also new this year will be mandatory ticket wristbands. Everyone breezing through the gate must wear a wristband. Those that don’t, said Zeigler, will be asked to leave.
But the traditional favorites of the weekend – such as the Friday night fireworks show – are alive and well, bigger and better than ever.
“I don’t want to give too much away,” said Zeigler. “But the fireworks show is going to be spectacular. Not very many people are doing fireworks these days, but we are.
“We’re excited. It’s going to be a great event. It’s a great location and this layout is going to lend itself to an incredible event. We really feel that this year we’ve done some things that are going to make for a successful event and allow us to give back to the nonprofits, which is really what the CornFest is all about: giving back to our local organizations.”
The CornFest, presented by the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, opens Friday, July 8 and runs through Sunday, July 10. Hours are Friday from 3 to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for general admission; $5 for children 6 to 12 and seniors 62 and over. Children 5 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, 8440 Brentwood Blvd., Suite C. For more information, call 925-634-3344.