The Borough of Shippensburg held its 41st Annual Corn Fest last Saturday, a festival in downtown Shippensburg to preserve the town’s legacy. Corn Fest is always held on the last Saturday in August, and this year was one of the largest celebrations yet.
The festival is named after the area’s largest crop —corn. Corn Fest reflects this theme in its food, crafts and festivities. Corn on the cob, kettle corn and even corn-shaped earrings could be found along Shippensburg’s central stretch. Shippensburg University students and Shippensburg community members braved the end-of-summer sun to enjoy what the festival had to offer.
“It’s sometimes difficult to find things to do in downtown Shippensburg, but Corn Fest is an easy way to connect with the local community,” SU student Elizabeth Peters said. “I always enjoy the specialty craft booths and boutiques. I’m glad the event was moved back to downtown Ship.” Last year, the event was held on the Shippensburg fairgrounds on Possum Hollow Road to reflect the COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
Corn Fest took over King Street, spanning from Prince Street to Spring Street, featuring over 250 vendors. The massive craft fair took place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offered crafts of every shape and size, from handmade cutting boards and jewelry to specially flavored dressings, honeys and nuts.
“It’s so much fun to have Corn Fest in town again,” SU alumna Noel Miller said. “I love getting baked goods and lemonade here.”
Twenty-six specialty food vendors came downtown to participate in the festival, serving favorites such as fresh cut fries, cotton candy, braided soft pretzels, bubble tea and of course, corn.
Free events were available for festival-goers young and old, such as the annual corn-eating contest and live music performed on three stages. Among the acts were the Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers, classic rock bands Mid Life Crisis and Dovetail and the Shippensburg University drumline and majorettes.
“As someone who has lived in Shippensburg for almost their entire life,” SU student Ethan Cornell said, “the Corn Fest is one of those things that I always look forward to going to. The event changes from time to time, but the feeling and sense of community is still there.” The Corn Fest serves as an opportunity for the community to fundraise to preserve its history.
The 42nd Annual Corn Fest will take place on Aug. 26, 2023, rain or shine.