Corn Fest to revel in rivals

The weekend that some people look forward to all summer is finally here. The Swanton Corn Festival will be celebrated this Saturday, with most of the activities taking place at Memorial Park.

The 2017 Swanton Corn Festival kicks off bright and early at the Trinity United Methodist Church on North Main Street, with breakfast from 7-10 a.m.

The parade follows, and chairman Alan Robassaer said it’s one of the things that stands out about the Corn Festival.

“The festival can boast it has one of the best parades around, featuring nine marching bands, many floats, school and community organizations participating,” he said. “We have an ideal venue in beautiful Memorial Park, with lots of shade, sitting areas, and winding paved walkways. The Friday night All-Class Reunion is also a big attraction.”

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Brookside Drive. It will travel south down Main Street before turning west onto Garfield Avenue and ending at Munson Road.

The theme this year is Rivals in the Corn, Who Ya Rootin’ For. It plays up the unique border rivalry of Ohio State and Michigan.

With a large number of locals fans on each side, the border rivalry is made more interesting by the fact that part of the Swanton area used to be claimed by the State of Michigan. Old State Line Road, just north of Swanton, marks the former state line. The Toledo strip, the area between Old State Line Road and the current Michigan border, was eventually given to Ohio.

The Corn Festival Committee is hoping to see many displays of fandom along the parade route.

Following the parade, many people make their way to Memorial Park for a variety of entertainment and food options. Attendees will have to decide whether to start with rides, food or entertainment.

“People should attend the Corn Festival to support and show spirit of the community, the vendors, and to have a fun time,” said Robasser. “There is something for everyone, young and old, with a wide variety of food and entertainment.”

During the morning in the park, volleyball and basketball tournaments will begin. The Pharaoh’s Car Show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the outfield of the lower baseball diamond.

Also inside the park, running from noon until 8 p.m., there are two stages packed full of entertainment ranging from cheerleading performances to magicians to community bands.

For the first time, the festival will have a second beer tent down in the park, at the site of the former horseshoe pit. There will be no admission to this beer tent which will be open from noon until 8 p.m. It is strategically placed right next to Stage 2, where entertainment can be enjoyed throughout the day.

After the cheerleading performance at noon, stage two will have the Maumee Community Band performing at 1 p.m., followed by Ragtime Rick and the Chefs of Dixieland at 2:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., “Slim,” known to Swanton residents as Brad Shreves, will take the stage. Playing from 6-8 p.m. will be the rock/blues duo of Electric Boogie.

On stage 1, located by the festival entrance, the entertainment will include Johnny Rodriguiz starting at noon. He will be followed by Pattrick the Magician at 2:30 p.m.; a martial arts demonstration at 3:30 p.m.; Bob Wurst at 4 p.m.; and the entertainment will wrap up with the Delta Community Band performing at 6:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the festival go back to the community.

“Our most recent donations have gone to the high school soccer field, the electronic message sign in the park, and the restoration of the Doughboy statue,” said Robasser. “We continue to promote upgrades in the park as well.”

In conjunction with Corn Festival weekend, the Eighth Annual Swanton High School All-Class Reunion will be held Friday from 6-12 p.m. at the upper baseball diamond, next to the tennis courts. Classmates from every class from 1945 through 2012 have attended in the past.

The event is open to the public, and guests are welcome. There is a $5 cover charge, and parking is free. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older to enter. Proceeds from the All-Class Reunion benefit the Swanton Local Schools Foundation and help defray expenses.

“The Corn Fest brings people together, and is a great time to socialize and reunite with those you don’t often see,” said Robasser.

For more information and a full schedule visit

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By Drew Stambaugh

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010