BY CAROL HICKS
The Hoopeston Jaycee National Sweetcorn Festival earned top 10 recognition in the Johnsonville Sausage LLC "Best of US" contest, a nationwide initiative to celebrate the best Educators and Community Celebrations in America.
The contest received 71,000 votes during the online voting opportunity in June, according to information provided by Johnsonville.
"We are very grateful that the community came out and voted for our festival multiple times to get us into the top 10, " said Bradley Hardcastle, Jaycee co-chairman of display and food vendors.
Voting by area residents placed the National Sweetcorn Festival in fifth position, earning $1,000 for the Hoopeston Jaycees.
"The $1,000 will be going toward repairs we have to do to the annex this year," Hardcastle said. "We are needing to replace some track lighting at the annex, repair some plumbing and with what is left over, we will put into various projects during the festival."
Each year all profits from the National Sweetcorn Festival go toward the Hoopeston Jaycees’ Christmas Projects, Toys for Kids and Underprivileged Kids’ Christmas.
Each of the Top 10 finalists in each category received more than 1,500 votes respectively during the contest’s public, online phase, with the top nine winning $1,000 in cash and the grand prize winner receiving $10,000, according to the press release. In addition to cash prizes, the nominees and pictures will be displayed on the Best of US website at http://bestofus.johnsonville.com/galleryFestival.php .
"We would like to say thank you to everyone who voted and we look forward to seeing them at this year’s festival," Hardcastle said.
The National Sweetcorn Festival is scheduled for Aug. 29 through Sept. 2 at Hoopeston’s McFerren Park.