It’s finally that corny time of year again! On Friday, Crossroads, Northwest Indiana’s Chamber, kicked off this year’s annual Corn Roast, a two-day event taking place on June 2nd and June 3rd. As attendees milled around with smiles on their faces and fun festival food in their hands, it was clear that this year’s Corn Roast was one of Crossroads' corniest Corn Roasts yet.
The Corn Roast is by far one of Crossroads’ most popular events each year, and this year was no exception. People were lined up at the Bulldog Park gates right at 4 p.m., eager to get their corn on.
“I love that we’re already busy--it’s barely seven o’clock and we’ve been busy ever since the gates opened at four. It’s exciting that so many people want to come out and have a good time. This is our fourth year at Bulldog Park and it just keeps getting better every year,” said Deann Patena, Crossroads Chamber president and CEO.
This year’s Corn Roast featured all kinds of different things to keep everyone entertained. Adults had a fun time mingling in the beer garden and venturing between 29 different food vendors. The kids had their very own Kid Zone that had everything from a couple of bounce houses to a face painting booth to a glowstick stand. The Crown Point Library even set up a booth so kids and their parents could win a prize and learn more about their local library.
Not to be missed, of course, was the corn. South Lake County Shrine Club served delicious steamed ears of corn dunked in melted butter. Attendees couldn’t get enough of it--many folks held as many cobs of corn as their hands could carry.
When attendees needed a break from all the food, drinks, and play, they got to sit back and enjoy some amazing performances from Farmer Dan and Mr. Funnyman Band. Some community members even got up to sing and dance along with them.
It was truly special to see the community come together to start the summer off in such a fun, positive way.
“The Corn Roast is a fun kickoff to summer. School is over, kids are starting to come back home from college and reunite with their families, and, for a lot of people, this is their first fun night out of the summer. It brings everyone together,” said Patena.
What made this year’s Corn Roast special, though, was the cause. Crossroads has been holding the Corn Roast for over 50 years to raise money for all kinds of wonderful causes. Kelly Paez, a branch manager at First Savings Bank of Hegewisch who has volunteered at the Corn Roast for seven years, couldn’t emphasize the importance of the Corn Roast enough.
“The money that the Chamber raises from events like this goes back to the community and goes towards so many good causes such as helping out people in low-income areas and providing school supplies to kids in need. The fact that I can help raise money and have an active part in helping my community is really nice,” said Paez.
This year’s Corn Roast ultimately couldn’t have been a bigger success. Crossroads Chamber would like to give a big shout-out to all the sponsors who helped make this event one of its best Corn Roasts yet. The Times Media Company was this year’s main event sponsor and SpartaDome sponsored the beer garden. Countless other corporate sponsors sealed the deal on an unforgettable weekend.
For everyone who missed out on tonight’s activities, don’t worry! The Corn Roast will start back up tomorrow, June 3, at noon and will feature the same vendors, beer garden, and Kid Zone. For everyone who came to tonight’s event and doesn’t want the fun to end, a bags tournament will be held from noon to 4 p.m. The day will also feature a whole new lineup of performers including DJ David Galt, Frank Ruvoli, and The Crawpuppies.
So, come on out and get ready to be corny! The 2023 Corn Roast is one nobody will want to miss out on.
“I just hope everybody has a lot of fun. The more fun people have, the more food and drinks and fun stuff they will buy from the vendors, which helps our local businesses thrive, and that’s what the Chamber is all about,” said Paez.
To learn more about Crossroads Northwest Indiana’s Chamber, visit https://crossroadschamber.org/.