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Grundy County Corn Festival makes its return

71st annual festival kicks off in Morris

Nine-year-old Leah, a student at Nettle Creek, shows off some of the corn stalks that she helped place along Liberty Street in Morris on Saturday in preparation for the 2019 Grundy County Corn Festival.
Nine-year-old Leah, a student at Nettle Creek, shows off some of the corn stalks that she helped place along Liberty Street in Morris on Saturday in preparation for the 2019 Grundy County Corn Festival.

The Grundy County Corn Festival is back!

The 71st Annual Grundy County Corn Festival returns to Morris this week, Sept. 25-29.

Corn Festival is the cornerstone event in Grundy County. A county wide celebration Corn Festival makes its home in the county seat of Morris with an emphasis on events downtown.

This year's theme is "Grundy County - Planting the Seeds of Service"

The festival is a homecoming of sorts and takes and celebrates the rich agricultural history in Grundy County and offers everything from a farm fair, craft shows, carnival, music and food. The town is decorated beautifully to celebrate the fall harvest and everyone joins in the spirit by dressing in their best jeans and flannels.

A small sample of activities includes:

Corn King and Cornbread Queen Contest

Returning for a second year is the Corn King/Cornbread Queen contest. Corn will be judged in two categories: circumference and length of corn. Cornbread will also be judged in two categories: traditional with no additives and non-traditional with additives.

Corn King and Cornbread Queen Contest takes place Wednesday, Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m. at the Grundy County Courthouse.

Family Flannel Fest

Apple cider, games and Wii dancing. All three of these will be found at the annual Family Flannel Fest at Morris Area Community Library from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26. The event is an excellent way to spend the afternoon with family. The two-hour event will also feature storytelling and s’mores. All attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite flannel to celebrate.

Craft and Flea Market

The Craft and Flea Market will take place at the Grundy County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The market has three distinct areas: Craft, Flea Market, and New Merchandise/Miscellaneous.

Handcrafted items available will include hair feathers, bows and accessories, doilies, quilts, clothing, dolls, baked goods, floral designs, ceramics, yard decorations, and of course, woodworking items and furniture. This is also the perfect time to shop for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decor.

Admission is a Corn Fest button, available at the gate. Parking is free and shuttle service is available. No pets are allowed inside the Grundy County Fairgrounds.

Art Show

The Grundy County Corn Festival Art Show will be held at the Morris Area Library on Sept. 26 through 28. Entry fee is a Corn Festival button. Entries will be accepted from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 and entries must be picked up on Monday, Sept. 30 between 4 and 6 p.m.

All entries must be original and created within the last two years and not previously shown at the Corn Festival. No more than four 2-D and four 3-D entries per person. There are several divisions from Adult-Amateur to Grade school.

Rules, divisions and registration forms they are available at the Grundy County Corn Festival office or online at

The Art Show is presented by the Morris Watercolor Guild and sponsored by Morris Hospital.

Crackerbox Derby

The Crackerbox Derby makes its return to the Grundy County Corn Festival on Saturday in Goold Park.

The event generally features around 50 cars. At 7:30 a.m., the pits open for registration participants ages kindergarten through eighth grade. At 8:55 a.m. there will be a prayer and national anthem and at 9 a.m. the races start.

Each child will be allowed to take two runs at the course and the two scores will be averaged for one score. The cars and drivers will start on a ramp at the top of the hill at Goold Park, go down passed tennis courts and river, by the pool and finish.

All cars must have at least three wheels, and wheel classes include derby wheel, precision wheel, plastic wheel, and rubber wheel. Entry fee is Corn Fest button, and only 50 buttons will be available at the event.


The 2019 Grundy County Corn Fest Parade steps off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, and winds its way through historic downtown Morris. This year's theme is "Planting the seeds of service."

No Parking areas will be designated throughout the area, so drivers are urged to watch for signs. Vehicles parked in No Parking areas will be towed.

Parking restrictions include: West Washington Street, from Wauponsee Street west to the end of the street; Illinois Avenue, from Wauponsee Street to the end of the street; the south side of Jefferson Street / Fremont Avenue from Fulton Street to West Avenue; Nettle Street (both sides) from Jefferson Street south to Illinois Avenue; the north side of Goold Park Drive, from Fulton Street to West Avenue; the west side of West Avenue, from the railroad tracks to Fremont Avenue; Fulton Street and Calhoun Street, from Illinois Avenue to Jefferson Street; the east side of Fulton Street from Chapin to Jefferson; the four streets surrounding Chapin Park: Fulton, Benton, Wauponsee and Chapin; and Main Street from Fulton to Nettle.

A special pull-out section highlighting Corn Fest and all its activities and action can be found in the Sept. 24 edition of the Morris Herald-News.

More information on the Grundy County Corn Festival can be found online, at

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