Adel to celebrate 175 years with 7 tons of free sweet corn during Sweet Corn Festival
This year’s Sweet Corn Festival will be extra sweet as Adel continues its 175th birthday celebration on Aug. 13.
“It’s a birthday party. We are celebrating 175 years for the city of Adel,” said Deb Bengtson, president of the Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce.
Bengtson said the annual Sweet Corn Festival will have additional activities to help celebrate the city’s 175th anniversary, including a fun zone sponsored by Harvey’s Greenhouse. The fun zone will include obstacle courses for adults and kids, bounce houses, a magician and balloon art.
The city of Adel, an elite sponsor of this year’s festival, will host a birthday celebration from noon to 12:30 p.m. at the Stage and Pavilion. Adel Mayor Jim Peters encourages community members and visitors to “party like it’s 1847” during the afternoon celebration.
“It really means a lot for us to be around for 175 years and have a vibrant community and one that there’s a lot of support for, and the Sweet Corn Festival is just one example,” he said.
The festivities will kick off on Friday, Aug. 12, with the community shucking of the corn starting at 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot at 10th and Prairie. Bengtson encourages community members to help shuck the seven tons of corn from Deardorff Sweet Corn.
“The more hands we have, the quicker it goes. I’m always amazed that we have seven tons of corn and we’re done in three hours,” she said. “It’s really a fun event and people bring their entire families to experience it and have a great time.”
The festival will continue on Saturday, Aug. 13 with the Sweet Corn 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. followed by the parade at 9:30 a.m.
The parade route was extended last year, and organizers will keep the expanded route as it helps spread out parade attendees. Scott Gavin of the Adel Kiwanis, a group that helps organize the parade, said the parade will travel down 18th to Main Street before turning at 11th Street and coming back up Prairie before kicking out at 14th Street.
There is no pre-registration or fee, and Gavin said anyone looking to participate in the parade should just show up to get in line starting at 8:30 a.m.
Free sweet corn will be served starting at 11 a.m. until it's gone on 10th Street between Main and Prairie.
Other activities include live music, Adel Fire Department kids activities, a bags tournament, a car show and more.
New this year is a co-ed volleyball tournament at Evans Park, sponsored by the ADM volleyball team. The Dallas County Courthouse will be open for tours to help celebrate William Wagner, who helped refurbish and preserve the courthouse as well as Terrace Hill in Des Moines. A pop-up William Wagner exhibit will be open across from the courthouse at 818 Court St.
“People will be able to go into the courthouse and see what William Wagner did when they refurbished the courthouse and learn more about him and what he did for Dallas County,” Bengtson said.
In addition to the courthouse and exhibit being open during the festival on Saturday, Aug. 13, the William Wagner sword ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 on the south lawn of the courthouse, followed by a Dallas County city recognition program at 5 p.m. in the Courthouse Rotunda. A program honoring the work of William Wagner will be held at 7 p.m., though RSVP is required to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sweet Corn Festival will wrap up with a street party from 6 p.m. to midnight at 10th and Main, featuring live music by The Sons of Gladys Kravitz.
“We have so much going on this year that you can spend from 9-5 very easily in that four-block area and have something new and different to do every hour,” Bengtson said. “We’re encouraging people to come to the parade and plan on staying late and experiencing everything at the festival.”
That includes the birthday celebration events. The city of Adel kicked off its 175th birthday celebration with Founders Day in May, including cemetery and historic downtown tours along with a panoramic photo. Bengtson said the celebration continues with a party during the Sweet Corn Festival.
“I just think it will be a real fun way to celebrate 175 years of Adel,” she added. “Just come out and enjoy yourself. Eat corn and celebrate 175 years.”
Find more information, including a full schedule, on the Adel Sweet Corn Festival Facebook page.