By Echo Menges
The 2023 Knox County Corn Festival was held Friday through Sunday, September 8-10, at the Edina Town Square amid perfect weather conditions.
The annual event marked the beginning of harvest season and gave the community-at-large a welcomed opportunity to enjoy the weekend among family, friends, and neighbors.
The festival opened Friday evening with the annual Knox County Rescue Squad Fish Fry. The volunteer firefighters fried 240 pounds of fish for the occasion, along with 200 pounds of potatoes.
Fr. Paul Clark gave the opening invocation and Rylie Cardwell sang the National Anthem officially kicking-off the event.
The opening entertainment came from the band Flash Flood featuring Knox County native Evan Cardwell and friends followed by evening Karaoke by Caveman Mobile DJ Service.
The Knox County Rotary Club also opened the evening with Bingo in the courthouse courtyard and the Beer Garden hosted a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament sponsored by Mark and Angie Hunolt.
On Saturday morning, the festivities began with the annual parade, which attracted a large crowd that lined Highway 6/Lafayette Street from the Highway 15/First Street junction to the T& T Motel.
The crowd was packed with children collecting candy as parade participants rolled and walked their way along the route.
Throughout the day on Saturday, the Knox County Kut-Ups hosted their annual Quilt Show at the community center and the Knox County Historical Society welcomed visitors to the museum. In the courthouse courtyard, vendors packed the lawn and visitors passed through dozens of booths from throughout the region.
The Corn Festival Car Show filled the first block on North Main Street, which hosted local favorite classic cars along with several new entries.
The Reptile Experience was also back this year in the courtyard.
The Tractor Show filled the first block of North Fourth Street and local farmers played tractor games into the afternoon.
Saturday’s entertainment included magic shows from Magician Keith Leiff, musical entertainment from vocalists Paige (McClamroch) Gudehus and Lacey Mihalevich, and the band Shakey Ground featuring Knox County native Chuck Hayes at the 4-H/FFA Pavilion.
The children’s Pedal Tractor Pull was held on Monticello Street south of the community center and the annual Baby Show, hosted by Knox County Dental, was held at the 4-H/FFA Pavilion.
The late afternoon and evening events and entertainment included a Cornhole Tournament west of the Beer Garden on North Main Street.
Saturday evening entertainment included the annual Street Dance featuring the band Bootcut west of the Beer Garden, and the Youth Dance on North Fourth Street featuring Caveman Mobile DJ Service sponsored by the Knox County Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday’s meals included a handful of food vendors on Monticello Street north of the courthouse and meals served at the pavilion by the Knox County Methodist Parish serving their famous pork tenderloins for lunch, and the After Prom Committee serving chicken for dinner/ supper.
A damper on the occasion occurred overnight Saturday/ early Sunday morning, when it was discovered that burglars broke into the food vendor trailers on Monticello Street allegedly stealing money from each one (see news story below).
On Sunday, the annual Ecumenical Church Service was held at the pavilion, which was hosted by the Knox County Ministerial Alliance followed by a hog roast lunch hosted by Knox County 4-H Youth, also at the pavilion.
The final day of the festival also hosted Hurdland Volunteer Fire Department’s Cow Chip Bingo event, and the Grand Prize Drawings.