The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is back this year with a new addition: a Jumbotron that will live feed bands featured at the three-day festival.
"It's something very different for us," said Jean Lindsay, president of the Corn Boil committee.
If you goWhat: Sugar Grove Corn Boil
When: 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 26; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 27 with the 5K starting at 7:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 28
Where: Volunteer Park, off Dugan and Wheeler roads
The Jumbotron will also show a video revealing exciting news for the community: in 2016, Rich Harvest Farms will host the International Crown, a women's golf competition featuring players from eight countries. She said the festival has traditionally had a small-town feel, but with increased funding, organizers were able to add the new feature.
The festival kicks off Friday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 28 at Volunteer Park. Bands at the Sound Stage, a carnival, a parade, a fireworks display, a KidZone, a 5K, a Crafters and Business Expo, and -- of course -- corn, all highlight this year's festival.
Runners can work up an appetite with the Saturday morning 5K, which will weave through village streets and bring residents out of their houses to cheer on runners, said Karen Pritchard, the race director. Proceeds from the race go to provide programs and scholarships through the park district.
Lindsay said organizers try to make the festival affordable and family-friendly, through a Christian-themed Sunday, including Christian Rock bands and a free KidZone.
The KidZone, open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., will offer entertainment for the younger set, including themed races, costume characters and an ice-cream-eating contest, Lindsay said.
Lindsay, a 17-year resident of Sugar Grove, remembers bringing her family to the festival when she first moved to the area and it was much smaller. Her three kids loved going to the dunk tank, and her oldest daughter, Jenny Lindsay, would get in the dunk tank as part of the softball team. Keeping that small-town, neighborly feeling is important to Lindsay.
"One of the nice things is you go to the Corn Boil, you see friends, and it's very comfortable and welcoming, and that's something we really want to stay with," she said.
Indeed, the community-oriented event focuses on giving back to the community, both during and after the festival.
Lindsay highlighted one of the most important parts: some of the festival's profits will be donated to local nonprofits, including the Between Friends Food Pantry.
But without sponsors, like Rich Harvest Farms, the festival wouldn't be possible, said Lindsay. Keith Rich, son of Jerry Rich who owns Rich Harvest Farms, said that although they have helped out with the fireworks show in the past, after living in Sugar Grove for 35 years, his family wanted to get more involved with the festival.
"Sugar Grove means a lot to us," said Rich. "We want it to grow ... and we're proud to help with that," he said.
For a detailed list of events, visit www.sugargrovecornboil.org.