Hundreds of people lined the streets of Taber Thursday night, as Cornfest made its long-awaited return.
“I’m enjoying it and I think everyone here is enjoying it,” Cornfest attendee Garry Withrope said.
Those who attended the opening night of Cornfest 2021 got an earful.
Families crowded in for the kickoff parade, before the midway opened for a sneak peek and the opening ceremonies began.
Withrope has been attending Cornfest for years and is happy to see it return, after COVID-19 forced a modified 2020 edition.
“They’ve got the best rides here, nice people, small town,” Withrope said.
“Everyone likes a small-town carnival like this, it’s just awesome.”
It’s one of southern Alberta’s first big events since COVID-19 restrictions lifted across the province.
Organizers have been working with Alberta Health Services since January to ensure the event could move forward, and Cornfest co-chair Rick Popadynetz said it’s already a success.
“People are buzzing around the town, everybody’s smiling and happy to be back in the action of Cornfest. It’s so amazing to see our team and volunteers to come together and make this happen,” Popadynetz said.
A livestream of the action is available for people who don’t feel comfortable coming to the grounds and for those who do attend, COVID-19 precautions are in place.
“We still have our emergency operation and command meeting daily, so at 8:30 we all meet with AHS and if anything is going to come out of that, we’ll let everybody know as soon as we know.”
However you choose to take in Cornfest, Popadynetz says there’s something for everyone.
“It’s a sweet event, just like our corn.”
This year’s Cornfest has three new additions: the Jeep club car show, pure power wrestling and a space to learn about Indigenous culture in a weekend officials anticipate will be a-maize-ing.
While other crops in southern Alberta suffered due to this summer’s extreme heat, corn thrives at higher temperatures.
As a result, taber corn crops did well this year — a welcome relief after hail storms hit the region hard the past few summers, limiting the availability of the product and shortening its season.
— With files from Quinn Campbell, Global News
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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