Your Guide to St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival

Event is Friday through Sunday in Cedar Rapids

Ray Whittle of Cedar Rapids (center) shucks corn in preparation for the St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival at St. Jude Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 10, 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Ray Whittle of Cedar Rapids (center) shucks corn in preparation for the St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival at St. Jude Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 10, 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A dozen bands, 1,000 volunteers and 25,000 ears of Iowa sweet corn.

The 42nd annual St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival returns to Cedar Rapids this weekend with organizers expecting upward of 10,000 people to attend.

Here’s what you need to know before heading out:

Q: When is the festival?

A: 5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Q: Where does the festival take place?

A: St. Jude Catholic Church, 50 Edgewood Rd. NW, Cedar Rapids.

Q: Is there an admission fee?

A: Yes. New this year, cost to enter is $3 for those ages 11 to 59.

Q: Where should I park?

A: In the old Kmart West lot at the intersection of Williams Boulevard SW and 16th Avenue SW. Shuttles will run continuously from that location from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Handicap parking is available off First Avenue SW.

Q: What bands are playing and when?

A: Friday — Relaxed Fit, 6 to 8 p.m.; The Unincorporated, 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday — Czech Plus Band, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; CR Big Band, 2 to 3 p.m.; DTKK German Brass Band, 3 to 5 p.m.; Relaxed Fit, 6 to 8 p.m.; The Unincorporated, 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday — Standing Before Giants, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; LaSalle Vocal Jazz, 3 to 3:30 p.m.; Joe Sorenson, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Q: When is the beverage tent open?

A: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. There is no cover to enter the beverage tent this year. You must by age 21 or older to enter. Entertainment is as follows: Friday — 8 Seconds, 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday — Large Midgets, 1 to 5 p.m.; Gimikk, 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday — PastMasters, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Q: Is there a carnival at this year’s event?

A: Yes. Superior Equipment is providing a variety of rides in the midway. Tickets are $1 each and rides range from one to three tickets.

Q: Are there activities for younger children?

A: Yes. Kiddie Land is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. It is designed for children ages 7 and younger and features games like Duck Pond, Golfing, Gator Toss, Soccer Goal and Football Toss. Tickets are three for $1 or 10 for $3. All games are one ticket.

Q: How much for an ear of corn?

A: Buttered corn on a stick sells for 50 cents per ear.

Q: What else is on the menu?

A: The Food Canopy features sloppy Joes, barbecue pork, hot dogs and corn dogs, turkey sandwiches and a variety of sides. The Brat Tent features walking tacos, brats, burgers, smoked pork loins, pork burgers, grilled tenderloins, nachos and slushies. Taters and More is serving up grilled rib-eye and chicken sandwiches, tater wedges, onion rings, sweet corn nuggets and fried mushrooms, among other items. Pizza and breadsticks and turkey legs also are offered.

Q: Are there any sweet treats?

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A: Yes — funnel cakes, deep fried Snickers and Twinkies, Kathy’s Pies and ice cream, cotton candy and sundaes.

Q: What other activities are planned?

A: A bags tournament and Kernel’s Road Races on Saturday, a car raffle for a 2017 Ford Mustang or $15,000 cash, a silent auction with more than 500 items, 50/50 raffles, bingo and a Country Store.

Q: Where can I go for more information?

A: judesweetcornfest.com

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