The 15th Estherville Sweet Corn Days will kick off with a bang on Thursday with most of the evening's activities taking place in and around North Riverside Park in Estherville.
The night kicks off with Presentation of the Flames at 5:15 p.m. Four groups of runners will start the corn torch run from Estherville's four gateway signs and will be escorted by a member of the Black Knights Car Club.
The runners this year are from Team Amy Jensen (her sisters Jill Gifford and Crystal Clabaugh), three members of the Estherville-Lincoln Central Softball team (Ashton Reisner, Christina Tendal and Kristen King), Amanda Fernau (representing the Regional Wellness Center triathlon) and a group of runners taking part in the Couch to 5k Program who are also competing in Run for the Cob on Saturday.
Runners will arrive at North Riverside Park around 5:45 p.m. to officially launch Sweet Corn Days 2012.
At that time, Burning of the Cobs will take place as cobs from the 2011 are lit by the corn torches. This is followed by a short program, and a number of prizes will be drawn for a few lucky winners. The public is able to register for the prizes onsite.
Once the flames are going strong, free smores will be given out while supplies last. Also at 6 p.m. is the Corny Carp Competition, held at North Riverside Park. This is a fun fishing contest for kids 14 and under. To participate, bring your own equipment and be ready to try and catch the biggest carp using only sweet corn as bait (it will be provided). The Corny Carp Competition has three categories and prizes will be awarded for the biggest carp caught in all categories. This event is hosted by the Iowa Lakes Community College Conservation Club and runs from 6-8 p.m.
Downtown Market, Estherville's summertime market, will keep Library Square hopping as usual from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday night. The market features vendors from all over the area selling a wide variety of goods, including produce, crafts, art, wellness products and baked goods.
The 2012 Sweet Corn Days kickoff party will start at 6:30 p.m. at Woody's Pizza and features happy hour all night, pizza specials, live music and games. KUOO Campus Radio will be based on the Woody's Pizza parking lot from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday night, and the Campus Cruiser will be on hand to do interviews with Sweet Corn Days organizers and giveaway prizes.
The 15th Estherville Sweet Corn Days will be held Aug. 2-5 in Estherville. For more information on this and other events in the Estherville area, please visit www.estherville.org.