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Canned Corn Festival


The Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival is throwing in the cob after 35 years.

Big Bertha — a 6-ton, 350-gallon water-boiling behemoth that can cook 1,650 or so ears of double-sweet corn in just nine minutes — will be steamless and unemployed this year, for the same reason so many humans are getting pink slips.

“It’s the economy,” said Faye Odom, recording secretary of the Northwest Orange County Improvement Association, which runs the festival during Memorial Day weekend.

Dumb move, if you ask me. Especially when you note that . . .

The event started in 1974 as a small corn boil to raise money for community projects.

Now I know the economy sucks, but the NOCIA can’t afford to mount a small corn boil for the true believers and to keep the tradition going?

The stuff is really good, by the way, not your average supermarket corn. Before the bean counters had a hissy fit, Thunder Falls Terrace at IOA served nothing but Zellwood corn and it was one of the best reasons to eat there.

Still, there’s some hope-

But one commercial farm had remained the festival’s chief supplier of corn — Long and Scott Farms, which provided about 3,500 crates, or 170,000 ears, for the event. Anna Sciarrino, director of sales for the farm, said the loss of the festival shouldn’t hurt the farm because it sells most of its corn at stands and markets.

Sciarrino said the farm hopes to host its own festival in May, with fresh corn, music and vendors, but details have not yet been worked out.

Let’s hope they do it.




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