Family and friends cheer on the children in the corn-eating contest. Photo by Robert Mellen

If you are looking for something to do during the peak days of summer, you can find it at Avon’s premier event: the 35th annual Avon Corn Festival, produced by Avon Rotary. It kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, and it’s free!

“I’m excited to see the thousands of festival goers lining our village streets again,” said Avon Rotary’s corn fest chairman Mike Ford. “I am looking forward to seeing all of our committees’ hard work pay off as we raise much needed funds to support our many charitable causes both here in Avon and around the world.”

“One of the best things about the Corn Festival is there is something for the whole family to enjoy, from kids’ activities, music lovers, foodies and a wide array of arts and crafts,” said games committee chairwoman Karen Vanderbilt.

She also has planned a bounce house for kids, a dunking booth and a duck pond. Compare that to a highly patronized beer garden (offering New York craft beers), a free Skycoasters concert, which concludes the festival from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and everything in between and you have an idea of the range of fun at Avon’s favorite annual event.

A partial list of “everything in between” also includes nine bands and two dance groups providing constant entertainment on three stages all day, featuring rock, R&B, jazz, bluegrass and big band sounds. There also will be a cornhole tournament and a 50/50 lottery offering a chance to win more than $1000 if previous winnings are repeated.

But most people agree the stars of the day-long festival are the arts and crafters vendors, whose numbers are on track to set a record, having topped 130 as of this writing. That includes at least 50 artisans who have never before pitched a tent in Avon. All combined will be selling a vast variety of items such as all-natural products, clothing, fine art, jewelry, wood craft, spices and much more.

When you get hungry there will be 13 food trucks eager to sate your appetite, led by Avon Rotary’s own booth offering corn on the cob, salted potatoes and corn fritters. The corn, donated by J&A Farm Market, is picked fresh the morning of the festival. Speaking of corn, you can treat your kids to a festival favorite and enjoy watching them devour the ears in a goofy eating contest with dental floss and toothpicks for prizes. Among the food trucks you will find Red Osier, Lapresi’s Lemonade, Mountain Top Concessions, Christy’s Kettle Corn and others.

Then take your meal into the beer garden and enjoy it with a beverage from Rising Storm Brewery. “Local craft brewing is an important part of our local and regional economy and we’re proud to highlight Rising Storm as one of the region’s finest,” garden chairman Kirk Vanderbilt said. “The beer garden also provides important revenue to the Corn Festival which really goes a long way toward helping to fund Avon Rotary’s many great causes and initiatives.”

Avon Rotary promises a safe and fun day for visitors because the festival is carefully planned with the cooperation of town fathers and the police and fire departments. “During the festival there is no traffic allowed in the festival grounds unless emergency vehicles are needed,” said security chief Shawn Rice. “The security detail continuously walks the grounds to ensure that there are no issues.” Rice points out that no pets are allowed except for service animals.

Although some streets will be shut down there is plenty of nearby parking with shuttles to the festival site downtown. “We have a nice system in place,” said transportation chairman Greg Antkowiak. “I am proud of our work and it’s also a very fun day.”

Parking and admission are free. To help you plan your day, festival guides will be available in advance at select local businesses and during the festival on the grounds. The guide and more information also will be available at

©2023 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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