Cornfest coming back to Downtown DeKalb?


corndowntownThe Corn Fest Board has submitted a letter to the city council which will be on the City Council agenda for the Feb. 11th meeting. The board had been meeting with the city since October working on ways to relocate the festival back downtown.

One major hurdle was continuing to hold the festival on move in weekend for NIU. The festival date needed to be changed upon the request of the city as to not interfere with NIU move in weekend, which has grown and requires more of the services of the DeKalb Police and Fire Departments. In early December, the On the Waterfront festival in Rockford announced they would cease their festival. This gave the Corn Fest committee the easy task of moving the festival back one week.

“Many festival vendors have their schedules set for an entire year and no two major festivals ever want to compete for attendees” Lisa Angel, Corn Fest chair stated. When they announced they were no longer going to have a festival, we knew this was our chance to make the change.

There will be a new layout of the fest in the downtown area to accommodate the new changes that have occurred in the downtown since the fest was held there 5 years ago. They hope to have a layout within 30-60 days if the Council approves the measure.

“We are pleased to have Corn Fest move back to the downtown,”City Manager Mark Biernacki said. “We were grateful that the Committee and the community graciously allowed the temporary relocation of the fest to the airport while the major renovations were underway. With that project now complete, we can now welcome the fest back to our new and improved downtown.”


  1. I think Cornfest would have died if they left it at the airport. It was like trying to have a good time in Hell. Although some business owners will be unhappy, (there are always some) it will bring in people who wouldn’t ordinarily visit the downtown. Maybe they will see a business there that they would like to visit in the future?

  2. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with Corn Fest coming back to downtown. But, it really annoys me that they are trying to revise history.

    — Major renovations were finished a couple years ago.

    — One of the official reasons for leaving it out at the airport after downtown reconstruction was that there was no longer adequate space available for the sound stage.

    I also heard the excuse that DK mentions (not sure if it was official) that IDOT wouldn’t let them close the highway for it anymore.

    What I suspect with 99% certainty is that Corn Fest took such a big loss last year that it finally cut through the bureaucratic denial. They took losses every year they were at the airport, even when they had Lady Antebellum out there (the only thing that saved them from running in the red were their reserves). We’ll know for sure when their Form 990 for 2012 is made public — and already, I’ve reported that parking fee revenue dropped $10,500 last year from the year before.

    What the heck would have been so wrong to have said 2 years ago: “We’d like to continue at the airport because we think we can grow the festival out there, and it would help promote the airport, too.”

    And what would be the harm now in saying, “We tried, but it’s just not working at the airport.”


  3. That is the best news I’ve heard about corn fest yet! NOTHING better than having a down home atmosphere for corn fest in the downtown DeKalb Area. Good going to all who are involved in these talks and thank you!!

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