URBANA — If you're going to have a Sweetcorn Festival, you couldn't pick a more Midwestern band than Kansas to headline it.
Besides the bands and Motor Muster car show, the star of the event Friday and Saturday is corn itself.
It's real Illinois sweet corn, grown on a farm near Decatur, said the festival's director, Cynthia Johnson. In previous years, it was Wisconsin maize that was served.
The 38th annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival takes place in downtown Urbana, between Race and Vine streets. Hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Johnson, the executive director of the Urbana Business Association, said the festival draws as many as 50,000 people from Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities, and it serves as a fundraiser for her organization.
The festival, first held in 1975 by Busey Bank, is also the association's official welcome for incoming and returning University of Illinois students.
Sweet corn, at $1 an ear, is the main attraction, but there's plenty of live music, Action Inflatables, a rock climbing wall, indoor laser tag, pony rides and a petting zoo.
Johnson said getting Kansas was a coup.
Best known for "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind," the deepest philosophical rock song ever created by humans, the band has "typically been outside our budget," Johnson said.
Other bands include Calynn Green, The Hathaways, Boneyard Jazz Quartet, Tons O' Fun Band, Nickel & Dimes, Matter of Days and Outbound Drive.
For more information check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/urbanasweetcorn.