Options under consideration for the future of the Tecumseh Corn Festival

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Tecumseh town officials are exploring options for the future of the Tecumseh Corn Festival.

The Corn Festival was last held in 2019 due to COVID-19 and restrictions during the pandemic. It was also postponed last July as the city held its 100th anniversary celebrations in its place.

Over the years, the town’s Community and Recreational Services Department has been responsible for planning and organizing the event, but a report to council indicates that the growth in scope and length of the festival from corn has exceeded the capacity of city staff to accommodate him.

The report says a 2023 festival hosted by Community and Recreational Services is not currently planned, but the administration is in talks with the Optimist Club of St. Clair Beach to reinvent the Corn Festival, if the Optimist Club takes over.

Deputy Mayor Joe Bachetti says it’s a good thing the festival has grown so much, but that comes with challenges.

“Now is an opportunity to engage service clubs and local organizations to see if they are able to scale up and rebrand the festival,” he says.

While the administration is in talks with the Optimist Club of St. Clair Beach, Bachetti says there are a lot of steps to take.

“When you have a major event like the Corn Festival, you have to start having those plans and discussions early in the year. So hopefully you can see a major event happen in Tecumseh, but how does that watch and the extent remains to be seen,” he says.

The festival usually lasts three to four days and includes family activities, entertainment, a midway carnival, parade, performance, vendors, and buttered hot corn.

Attendance at the festival has varied around 10,000 to 15,000 people per year.

Bachetti says these events play a vital role in residents’ health and well-being.

“The special events we organize or the community service groups bring everyone together,” he says. “They celebrate, they honour, raise awareness and fundraise for a good cause. Hopefully a service club can step in and make it happen for 2023.”

The Tecumseh Corn Festival has been on Festival and Events Ontario’s “Top 100 Festivals” list for more than a dozen consecutive years.

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