The Adel Sweet Corn Festival has been drawing huge crowds for over 3 decades. Each year the event grows, gaining recognition for Adel.
Fans of the festival are all ages and come from around the world to enjoy the spirit of the community, small town charm, and never ending hospitality.
One group, the Adel Fan Club, travels each year from California and has become as much apart of the tradition as the corn served.
We got the chance to speak with Jacqueline McLaughlin, Matthew Livingston, and Mary Wilcox about why they love the Sweet Corn Festival!
Q. What was your first Sweet Corn Festival like?
Matthew: My friend and partner in crime, Jackie, invited me to the festival in 2001. Her exact words were ‘No! You don’t want to go on a surfing safari. I know just the thing you need.’ The first thing I remember was pulling into the town square and seeing the Courthouse. It was magnificent. I thought, ‘We are on to something here!’
Mary: In 2003, my friend Laura O’Brien (from California) who married Jerry O’Brien (from Adel) invited me to join them for the Festival. My first view of Adel was driving in on the Saturday of the festival, in my rental car and Laura greeting me on the corner with an ear of sweet corn and a cold beer. Since then I have been back every year.
Jacqueline: My friend, Jerry O’Brien told me about the Sweet Corn Festival. My first trip to Adel was in 1996, and I’ve been coming back ever since.
Q. Why do you keep coming back?
Jacqueline: I truly love and adore my friends that I have made in Adel. Everyone is always so hospitable to us.
Matthew: The friends I’ve made and the chance to make new friends. Jackie and I met Mary in 2003 at the Rendezvous Lounge. It is about the Parade, the John Deere Tractors are my favorites, the sense of community at the corn shucking, and the corn!
Mary: Besides the best sweet corn I have ever tasted and the old school charm of the town of Adel, its about the most dear and wonderful people in my life that I met at that festival. They have made us feel not only like a part of the community, but a part of the family.
Q. Why are you fans of the Festival?
Jacqueline: To say we are fans would be an understatement! We love Adel, the residents, and the Sweet Corn Festival so much we started the Adel Fan Club.
Matthew: It’s about corn! One year we festooned my car with banners and streamers; the girls in fine evening wear and boas, me, driving in a tux & bow tie.We snuck my car down our friends’ driveway, entered the parade, and the Adel Fan Club was born.
Mary: We have been in the parade 3 times (unofficially and officially.) We formed The Adel Fan Club, of which I am the vice president, and now have a standing sweet corn serving shift right after the parade.
Q. What are you looking forward to this year?
Mary: I am looking forward to the Festival, shucking corn Friday evening, enjoying the parade, and of course our shift serving corn. Most importantly I look forward to seeing and spending time with our treasured friends.
Jacqueline: We proudly work the first corn serving shift every year, which is always a highlight of the day! Another thing we always do is help shuck the corn on Friday night in preparation for the big day. This is a fun time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Matthew: When in line for corn, look in the back. I’ll be one of the guys bringing the fresh cooked corn to the girls… more corn!
Make sure to stop by the corn tent and introduce yourself and say hello to the Adel Fan Club August 14th!