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92nd Annual Corn Day Brings Tons of Entertainment Starting Tonight

The 92nd Annual Corn Days celebration gets underway this Friday and Saturday, October 11th and 12th, in downtown Carmi. Katelyne Wolff and Luke Sailer were guests on Monday’s open line to talk about some of the events that will take place at this year’s festival. Luke said the Corn Days festivities will actually get underway with a preliminary event this Wednesday night (October 9th) with a Carmi’s Got Talent contest at the Carmi-White County High School put on by First Bank…

“A couple of our members at the bank [First Bank] got together and said, ‘You know, a lot of other communities are doing this and it would be something cool for our community.’ As I said earlier, we do have so much local talent. So our Brain Trust got together and said, ‘How can we help with a new event?’ We came up with this. It will be this Wednesday night at 7 o’clock at the Carmi-White County High School. We have, I believe, 12 contestants right now, so I am very excited about that.  We have singers, baton twirlers, flaggers, and a little bit of everything. What is really neat is that the audience gets to judge. We are putting it in the hands of the audience. They get to choose their winner. It’s free to participate, but it’s $5 at the door for what we’re calling the judges. It’s a pay to play, I guess. To get to be the judge you have to pay your $5, but it should be a really interesting night, fun night. And like I said, there’s a lot of talent, so we are excited about that. The top 3 vote getters, 1st , 2nd, and 3rd, will all perform on Corn Day at 3 o’clock. All proceeds will go back to the Carmi Schools Foundation.”

Corn Days will officially get underway on Friday with a Cornhole Tournament as Katelyne explains…

“We start off at 5:30 with the Cornhole Tournament . Clint Taylor and Thys Bax head that up. It is in the First Mid parking lot. They can take up to 32 teams. You can just register that night. It’s a fun time. They go into the evening and they have lights out there, so you can throw the bag and have a blast.”

This is the 12th year for that event. At the same time at 5:30 pm this Friday, the Carmi Women’s Charity Club Pageants will be held at the Carmi-White County High School. The night will end with a gospel sing set for 7:00 pm on the Main Stage featuring lots of local talent as Sailer explained…

“We have so many wonderful, local talent, Gospel singers right here in our hometown. We’re very excited to have Jared and Hillary Mitchell, Bryan Cowling, Liz Rhinehardt, Tracy and Brian Orr along with Jenny Howard. Just so much talent right there that we are so blessed to have right here in our own backyard. That will be a wonderful evening. I hope the weather cooperates. We’re looking at a little rain right now, but the show will go on as they say. We’re very excited about that this Friday night.”

Saturday things will begin with the Candy Corn Run hosted by the Guardian Center at 8:15 am. The run will start and end at the First Christian Church. That will be followed up at 10:00 am with the pet parade. Participants should meet on Main Street in front of First Mid Bank at 9:30 am. Judging will begin at 9:45 am. The parade will go down Main Street until disbanding at Veterans Park. Categories will include Best Float, Best Decorated Bicycle, Best Decorated Tricycle, Prettiest Pet, Most Unusual Pet, Best Clown Costume, and Best TV/Movie Character Costume. All participants will be given a treat bag courtesy of the Kiwanis Club and local businesses.

From 10:00am – 2:00pm will be the annual Car Show at the First Mid Bank Parking Lot and stretching down in front of the Washington Attendance Center almost to the Oak Street turnoff. Mark Rogers and the Appetizers will be performing on the Car Show Stage at 10:30 am.

From 11:00 am – Noon will be the Chili Cook Off at Veterans Park. A dollar allows you to become a taste test judge and place your vote.  Water will also be available for purchase.  Awards will be handed out at 12:15pm.

At 11:30 am the Southern Illinois Showstoppers will be performing on the Main Stage, followed by the Corn Day King and Queen Coronation at Noon on the Main Stage. Another baton group, the All Star Twirlers will perform on the Main Stage at 1:00 pm.

The winner’s from Wednesday night’s Carmi’s Got Talent will perform on the Main Stage at 3:00 pm. That event will be followed by the big Corn Day Parade at 4:00 pm. Wolff who is a co-chair of the parade talked about the number of entries in this year’s parade…

“Not only am I president, but I am also in charge of parades. Kara Kessler and myself always put the parade together. This year we have 81 enteries and that includes 9 bands, so we’re very excited. The bands are actually going to stop in front of the Main Stage this year and they will get judged, so we will have a winner that way. We have a few new bands this year. The Cobden Junior/Senior High School is coming, along with Benton High School, Carbondale Middle School, Carmi Senior High School Band, Harrisburg High School Band, Harrisburg Middle School Band, Johnston City High School, NCOE High School Band and NCOE Junior High School Band, so that should be fun and of course entertaining.”

There will be a little bit of a lull from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm as crews get the stage set for the evening entertainment, then heat right back up at 7:00 pm with music from Tailgate Revival followed by Country star, Colt Ford as Luke and Katelyne explained…

“At 7 o’clock we have Tailgate Revival coming to the Main Stage to perform for us. They’re going to be a great warm up to get the crowd excited and give people a chance to get in their spots and situated,” said Sailer.

“Then at 8 o’clock we have Colt Ford. He is, I’m sure excited to come to Carmi and we can’t wait to have him! It should be interesting and fun,” said Wolff.

You can view the complete Corn Days schedule on our website at And you will want to pick up a stylish Corn Cob Corn Day hat to really enjoy the festival! Hats are on sale for $20 at Dartt & Company, First Mid Illinois Bank and Trust, and Peoples National Bank. Hats will also be available for purchase at the Hospitality tent located to the right of the Main Stage on Saturday. Everyone who purchases a hat will be entered to win $100 cash!