By Barry Cleveland
Carmi’s 90thannual Corn Days celebration is just days away, and preparations are nearly complete.
Members of the sponsoring organization, the Kiwanis Club of Carmi, discussed plans for the Oct. 13-14 event during the club’s weekly luncheon meeting Thursday afternoon at the Farm Bureau Building.
Jeremy Jordan, the club president, invited the Kiwanians who chair the various Corn Days committees to detail their plans and concerns with fellow club members.
And they did. Holly Healy noted that volunteers are needed to help park the autos expected for Saturday’s car show.
Andrea Hays said only five teams had entered the chili cook-off, as of Thursday, and she hopes more will participate.
Thys Bax said preparations re in place for the corn-hole tournament, and Greg Grant detailed plans for the gospel music program Friday night.
Justin Dartt said Luke Sailer will again emcee the Saturday morning pet parade, and Adam Winkleman said eight school bands would take part in Saturday’s marching band contest.
Katelyne Wolff reported that 88 entries had been taken as of Thursday for the evening parade. Healy said the Corn King and Queen have been chosen and will ride through the parade with other outstanding 4-H members.
J.C. Tinsley said committee chairmen who want to publicize their events may handle distribution of press releases or send them to him, and he’ll get them out.
Jordan noted that Darryl Worley, the country music star who will perform Saturday night, should arrive that morning, and he hopes to get the singer to ride through the parade.
And the outgoing Kiwanis president also commended the Kiwanians who conduct the fund-raising for Corn Days, adding that the amount raised this year exceeds that of 2016.
Toby Brown reported that Pete Fulkerson would be the emcee for the parade.
The schedule for Friday evening, Oct. 13 includes the Tiny Miss, Little Miss and Junior Miss Beauty Pageant at the high school, and the corn hole tournament at the First Mid-Illinois parking lot, both starting at 5:30 p.m.; and a concert featuring Tommy Brandt and Tommy Brandt Ii at the main stage, at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule opens with the 8:15 a.m. Candy Corn Run, starting at First Christian Church.
The pet parade begins at 10 a.m., and the car show begins at the same time and ends at 2. The chili cook-off runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. A cakewalk also starts at 11.
Corn tasting is to begin at 11 a.m. and extend until 1 at the Ratcliff Inn Museum, while the All-Star Twirlers will perform at 11:45 a.m. at the main stage.
The Corn King and Queen will be crowned in a noon ceremony at the main stage, and the Southern Illinois Showstoppers will perform there at 12:45. Mark Rogers and The Appetizers will perform at 1:15 p.m. at the car show stage. And the marching band contest will start at 1:30 p.m. at the high school athletic field.
The evening parade gets underway at 4 p.m., and Worley will take the main stage at 7 p.m.
A variety of organizations will conduct bake sales and other fund-raisers and activities during the event, as well.
Thursday’s meeting followed a meal prepared and served by Yesterday’s, of Carmi. Club guests include four members of the CWCHS Key Club, Olivia Bohleber, Faye Yang, Emmajoy Gray and Brianna Stocke.
Art Saunders and Thys Bax split the weekly 50-50 jackpot of $21.
Next week’s program will honor the local businesses and individuals whose financial contributions make Corn Days possible.