Sweet corn is a summer staple. Whether it’s boiled, grilled in the husk, served Mexican street style, or some other way, it’s a compelling cob. Find out where you can enjoy a veritable cornucopia of sweet corn-related fun June 23–24.

Photo credit: East Prairie Chamber of Commerce

By Peg Cameron Gill

How sweet it is! The East Prairie Sweet Corn Festival, that is. On June 23–24, the whole town will turn out for a kernel cavalcade celebrating sweet corn in all its golden glory.

On Friday June 23, the festival fun kicks off at 10 AM with vendors selling crafts and food. Or, you can try a tempting fish fry at the Nutrition Center. 

Later in the afternoon, hear the National Anthem, along with a welcome prayer, and welcome remarks from the East Prairie chamber director.

Photo credit: East Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Right after that, the Main Street Party begins. Events include a Baby Photo Contest, routines by local cheerleaders, and the Jr. Mr. and Miss Sweet Corn Pageants.

You can tap your toes to live music from Finley River Boys, and watch the blazing batons of the Southeast Twirlers with Fire. You can also cheer on the runners in the Huskers 5K as they cross the finish line.

Cap off your night with patriotic music and fantastic fireworks, set off by the Volunteer Fire Department.

On Saturday, June 24, cyclists set off early in the Tour De Corn Bike Ride, and craft and food vendors will once again be set up downtown.

Photo credit: East Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Kiddos can enjoy camel rides, a petting zoo,a  fishing game (ages 2–10), and a bike rodeo (ages 3–12), or squeal with delight watching pig races.

Throughout the morning, crates of corn and sweet corn T-shirts will be for sale by the East Prairie  Chamber of Commerce. 

You’ll want to place your bets on a duck race (buy your numbered duck before the race to win), or blow by your competition in a bubble blowing contest. 

Other fun events and activities include the Lil’ Mr. and Miss Sweet Corn contests, a chicken fling, corn toss, scavenger hunt, car show, and corn hole tournament. 

Photo credit: East Prairie Chamber of Commerce

 Corn you imagine all the fun? See the full schedule here

Some sweet corn stats:

According to the University of Missouri MU Extension, sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. rugosa) is one of the most popular summer vegetable crops grown in Missouri. Like peppers, pumpkins, squash, and beans, sweet corn is native to the New World where it has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. 

Sweet corn is a monecious plant, meaning it has a separate male and female flower on each stalk. The male flower is the tassel, which produces the pollen, while the ear is the female flower. For kernels to form on each ear, pollen from the tassel must be deposited on the silk of the ear. 

Sweet corn is wind pollinated, although bees are often seen collecting nectar and pollen from tassels. For small plantings of sweet corn, a series of short rows rather than a single, long row will improve the chances for efficient pollination. Sweet corn typically produces one or two ears per plant.

Sweet corn can be classified many different ways, such as kernel color (white, yellow, or bicolor) or by the level of sugar content.

For other interesting facts (and uses!) for sweet corn plants, check out this article

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.