Sat, Dec. 07

CV celebrates Cornfest Saturday

File photo

YOU'LL be grinning from ear to ear while getting a mouthful at Camp Verde's traditional Cornfest.

The Cornfest, a longstanding Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Department tradition with plenty of involvement by Hauser Farms, is this Saturday, July 19, from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Celebrating its 11th year, this fun July evening event in Camp Verde is as popular with locals as it is with out-of-town visitors.

Practically everything centers on the festival’s namesake — Corn. There’s the corniest joke contest, an honorary Cornfest King and Queen (two community elders), corn-shucking and corn-eating contests among other favorites. And, the evening wouldn’t be complete without the lively “Corn Ball” featuring Flagstaff’s talented Burnett Family Band. And if your lungs are strong, don’t miss out on the fun hog-calling contest either.

There’s always plenty of sweet corn to eat. You’ll find Hauser family members busy preparing and roasting the sweet stuff slathered in butter and served outdoors picnic-style. There's a small charge, but you won't taste anything better anywhere and the corn is exceptionally good this year, There's generally a truckload of corn by the cob nearby so attendees can pick a dozen or so ears to take home. You’ll also find other types of corn foods, such as kettle corn, plus plenty of other food fare like hot dogs and bratwurst.

Instead of the usual auction this year, the Camp Verde Kiwanis Club are doing something new, a Red Tag Sale from 5-9 p.m. inside the air-conditioned Community Center gym. This year’s new event includes a bake sale and silent auction. Donations are gladly accepted, say Kiwanis members.

Outside, there are arts and crafts and the usual fun things for kids to do like train rides, the Jolly Jump, balloon tying, a yo-yo and magic show and much more.

All activities are near the town’s gazebo along Main Street or inside the nearby Community Center on Hollamon Street. Generally, there’s plenty of parking off Hollamon Street just before Fort Verde.

Because of major construction this year due to the new Arizona 260 Bypass, the downtown enhancement project and the Montezuma Castle Highway improvements, give yourself plenty of time to get here because of slower moving traffic and possible detours.

Because the festival is on a Saturday evening, it is not likely construction crews will be working, but there could be slowdowns due to obstructions or detours along the route you choose. The General Crook exit of Interstate 17 remains closed, but there are two other entrances into town, Arizona 260/I-17 (Exit 287) or Montezuma Castle/Middle Verde (Exit 289) that goes past the Cliff Castle Casino.

As a prelude to the Cornfest, enjoy this summer’s Farmer’s Market at the same location, running from 5:30 p.m. to dark each Friday. It provides a place to buy local produce as well as hot dogs and roasted corn while enjoying the sounds of bluegrass music provided by Ray Sealing and the Verde Valley Music Makers. Included is a flea market for anyone interested in selling their wares.

For more information about the upcoming Cornfest or the Farmer’s Market, call Parks and Recreation Department at 928-567-0535, ext. 136.

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