"This is not what I expected I might do when I got up today," said Dieter Koch of Germany as he and wife Diana, along with 657 others, triumphantly held aloft freshly shucked ears of corn. The couple is in the United States to visit friends, and had never heard of the CornFest before this morning.
Now, a lot more people will have heard of the CornFest. The tally must still be verfied, but the 659 who registered should be enough to surpass a July 10 effort in British Columbia. That event pushed the record from 351 to 600.
After a slowly building crowd finally began to approach critical mass, a last-minute scramble sent shucker hucksters fanning out through the CornFest to muster every available volunteer and passerby. At 1:30 p.m., on orders from CornFest Co-chair Dirk Zeigler, the crowd counted down from 10, and the husks began to fly.
Two minutes later, nearly 38 cases of famous Brentwood sweet corn were thrust skyward as photos and videos documented the scene. Whoops, cheers and shouts of "Brentwood rocks!" went up when the PA announced "We are the proud owners of a world record!"
"This is such a wonderful thing to tell people back home," said Diana Koch as she sunk her teeth into her contribution. "You hear about people coming to California to seek fame all the time. We never thought it would be us, too! Thank you, Brentwood!"
Participants were given the option of keeping their ear of corn, eating it, or returning it to provide feed for local livestock.
"Corn is great," said participant Bobby Trullio, who opted for eating the kernels and contributing the cob. "It's fun, then it's food, then it's feed. You can't beat that!"