Corn Boil focuses this year on helping those with autism
The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee always wants to donate back to the community.
This year, it has chosen to focus its efforts on Giant Steps, an organization that helps people with autism.
A special preview night will raise awareness about autism, and money for the Canopy program, which takes place in Sugar Grove.
On Thursday night, July 27, $5 of every $25 carnival wristband sold at the site will be donated to the program, which aids adults age 22 to 28. The program takes place in downtown Sugar Grove and at Rich Harvest Farms.
The carnival will also take steps that night, including turning down the music, to make itself more suitable for people with autism, who are often extra-sensitive to loud noise.
The Corn Boil Committee has also asked Sugar Grove residents to display a blue light to show support for autism awareness. The lights are being sold at the Ace Hardware store on Route 47; half the proceeds will be donated to Giant Steps.
Blue light bracelets are also being sold, for $5. You can purchase them at the festival or in advance at Old Second Bank, First National Bank and First Secure Community Bank on Route 47; Genoa Pizza on Cross Street; Paisano's Pizza and Grill on Main Street; and Ace Hardware.
Giant Steps, which is based in Lisle, has had programming in Sugar Grove for three years. About 32 clients participate in the day program in Sugar Grove, which includes training in life skills, as well as a gardening program and horse-riding at the farm.
"We have an amazing connection between us and the businesses and organizations in the Sugar Grove area," said Janelle Floerke, development manager for Giant Steps.
Blue was chosen as a symbol for awareness by Autism Speaks.
The 50th annual festival is at Volunteer Park, 61 Main St.
The hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday; 4 to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 27-30.
New this year is a photo booth, where up to five people can snap a shot. A $1 donation is requested. The photo booth will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Also new is VIP Beer Garden packages, for groups of five or more people, for the Bob Bohler Memorial Fireworks Show on Saturday night and Sunday's entertainment.
The Saturday night packages cost $50 a person. You get a private bar (so no waiting in line for a beer), three drink tickets, and a hot dog and corn dinner.
The Sunday package is $35 a person, and includes the private bar, one drink ticket and the meal.
The official grand-opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. Friday. A parade will honor the Canopy program; clients will lead it. The Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year will be announced at the ceremony.
Admission is free.
There is free parking at several lots, with shuttle service to the festival, including a haywagon pulled by a tractor. The lots are at the Sugar Grove Library, 125 Municipal Drive; the Sugar Grove village hall, 10 Municipal Drive. Volunteers will also be patrolling nearby streets, giving free rides on golf carts. Senior citizens and disabled people can park in the lot in front of John Shields Elementary School, 85 S. Main St. Six preferred spaces will be set aside for veterans.
Motorcyclists can park on the concrete sidewalk and around the flagpole in front of the school.
For information about the Corn Boil, visit sugargrovecornboil.org.