Good food, good entertainment and good works: That's how I sum up the Shippensburg Corn Festival, held annually on the last Saturday in August. This year's edition, the 33rd (wow, I remember attending the first one!), is set for this Saturday, Aug. 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's held rain or shine.
Several blocks in downtown Shippensburg are closed to traffic to create this big street fair, organized by the Shippensburg Corn Festival Committee, an all-volunteer group. More than 300 craft and food vendors are expected. There are children's activities, demonstrations (the sheep wool spinning is always fun to watch), an antique car show, music (I love the Shippensburg German Band and Swing Band) and other entertainment all day long.
So where do the good works come in? In addition to many of the nearly 40 food stands serving as fund-raisers for community groups — scouts, churches, fire companies and more — the Corn Festival Committee donates money every year to preservation and enhancement projects throughout the Shippensburg area.
In its three-plus decades of existence, the committee has donated more than $300,000 to worthy projects and organizations. Among the most visible are improvements to the downtown: period lighting, markers denoting historically important sites, trees and flowers, holiday wreaths and more. It also funded preservation work at the historic hatch house at Dykeman Spring, and most recently donated funds to the Shippensburg Historical Society for restoration work at God's Acre Cemetery, one of the oldest burial sites in the region with graves dating to the 1700s.
For more information about the event, check out its website at http://shippensburgcornfestival.net/ or its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShippensburgCornFestival. I hope you'll join me at the Corn Festival!