The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


March 2, 2014

Jaycees outline changes for festival

HOOPESTON — Hoopeston Jaycees conducted a public forum last week for the National Sweetcorn Festival at Ira Owen Kreager American Legion Post 384 as an informational and brainstorming meeting. Input from the community in attendance was a large part of the forum.

“Several items have been rearranged in the schedule,” said Brad Hardcastle, festival chairman, “and some new items added. The schedule is tentative right now.”

One big change for the National Sweetcorn Festival is that the beer tent returns to the Jaycee Shelter this year. The Jaycees are working on a mix of bands to complement all generations, to bring the older generation back as well as the younger ones. The discussion of a mechanical bull with a country and western band was suggested and possibly a blues band to add a better mix of bands.

In the annex, a small beer garden will replace the beer tent for patrons to enjoy the Demo Derby on Saturday and Sunday evenings in a more relaxing setting. There also was a hint that the truck/tractor pull could see a revival in the annex Friday night. The Jaycees are in the process now of trying to work out details for its debut, according to Hardcastle.

“There will definitely be something there Friday (in the annex),” Hardcastle said.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Hoopeston Area High School FFA Barn Yard will replace the petting zoo and pony rides. The Barn Yard also could be tentatively included in Monday’s schedule, according to Hardcastle.

He added the Jaycees now have a mobile stage that will be set up near the old petting zoo area for live entertainment, beginning with the Sweet Adelines at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, followed by Doc Ashton and the Root Canals later that same afternoon. The stage is a full-sized stage, he said.

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