Ideas on Tecumseh’s Corn Fest shared at meeting

Tecumseh Deputy Mayor Joe Bachetti, left, listens during a public information session on the Corn Festival at Tecumseh Arena, February 12, 2020. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Residents of Tecumseh are being asked to discuss what they would like to see with the biggest event on the town’s calendar.

The town is asking people for their input on the future of the Corn Festival. Throughout the festival’s history, ideas from residents have been seeking to set the tone for the festival’s lineup.

A public information centre was held Wednesday night at Tecumseh Arena. Dozens of people passed through to vote on what they would like to see as well as give ideas of their own.

“We’ve changed the programming over the last couple of years, and really turned it into more of a family-oriented event,” said Paul Anthony, Tecumseh’s director of parks and recreation. “So, we’re wanting to know what the public would actually like to see at the festival.”

Corn Fest has taken a more family-friendly approach in recent years. In addition to mainstays like the parade and the midway, the festival has featured more contests, musical acts, and events geared toward young people.

While the festival is not necessarily at a crossroads, Anthony told that Corn Fest must evolve with the times, since there are more options for visitors to Windsor-Essex than ever during the summer months.

“We do face numerous challenges today at festivals, all festivals are competing for dollars, competing for people coming in, competing for vendors,” said Anthony. “There’s a lot of different things. Years ago, you may have had one festival on a weekend in the county. Now you may have four or five the same weekend.”

Despite the increased competition, the Corn Festival ranks high among Ontario events, consistently placing in the top-100 festivals across the province. The event has drawn thousands of visitors to Tecumseh each August since 1976.

Feedback from the public information event will be added to suggestions obtained through an online survey. The parks and recreation department will then use the information to present a plan to Tecumseh Town Council on the programming for the 2020 festival.

If you could not attend the public session and want to provide your ideas, visit the link at the town’s official website.