About the festival
In the Begining
The Bicentennial Committee was established in 1975 by the City of North Ridgeville to commemorate the upcoming United States bicentennial in 1976. The first festival, which lasted for six hours, featured 13 booths located around the North Ridgeville Middle School track. The proceeds from the festival were donated to the library to support the relocation of its operations from the old Lawson’s store area to the Olde Town Hall building across the street.
In 1976, the festival was held to honor Harold Sweet, a North Ridgeville-based sweet corn grower, for his contributions and support to the city’s youth and citizens. In addition to celebrating the bicentennial, the event aimed to recognize Sweet’s achievements. The proceeds from this festival were utilized to purchase trees for the new Bainbridge Extension, and two bicentennial flags were also bought for City Hall.
After 1976, the ‘Bicentennial Committee’ was renamed ‘The North Ridgeville Corn Festival Committee.’
In 1981, the committee successfully fulfilled the admission requirements of the Ohio Festival and Events Association (OFEA) and, after several inspections, was granted membership to the organization. The festival has been inspected by OFEA and other member festivals and has maintained its membership for over 40 years, a testament to its ongoing improvements and general operation.
Since the festival’s admission to OFEA, the organization has grown significantly from 20 to over 60 member festivals. The festival is proud to be a member of OFEA, which has provided opportunities for continuous improvement and the introduction of new ideas to the festival.
If you want to learn more about the Ohio Festival and Events Association, click here for more information.
Why the Second Weekend in August?
The corn in North Ridgeville is always knee-high by the Fourth of July, and that’s when the city begins its countdown to the Corn Festival, held the second week in August. What started as the Lorain County city’s observance of the country’s bicentennial has turned into a three-day fete complete with great live entertainment, a corn-eating contest, and the Grand Parade NOW WITH A NEW ROUTE. Last year, thousands of ears of corn were steamed, roasted, and consumed. The festival, since its inception, has raised more than $250,000 for civic and charitable projects.
The North Ridgeville Corn Festival Committee is a not-for-profit organization composed entirely of volunteers. Proceeds are used to benefit the citizens of North Ridgeville through contributions to educational programs, worthy community and city projects, various city departments, as well as the beautification of South Central Park. In addition, organizations are offered the opportunity to raise funds for their programs.
The North Ridgeville Corn Festival Committee comprises your neighbors, friends, family members, and business associates who volunteer their time to make the festival a success. With a membership of between 20-30 individuals each year, some of whom have been on the committee since its inception, we work tirelessly for almost a year to prepare for the event. Shortly after the conclusion of this year’s festival, we begin our first meetings for the following year.
You may wonder why we dedicate so much time and energy as volunteers. While the reasons may vary among committee members, we all share a desire to contribute to our community and enjoy creating a memorable experience for the tens of thousands of people who attend the festival each year. In other words, we love throwing a party for our friends!
If you see members in green shirts or our Jr. Members in their tie-dyed shirts, please give them a smile and let them know how much you’re enjoying the festival. We are grateful for your support and hope to continue making the North Ridgeville Corn Festival a beloved tradition for years to come.