By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN The 66th annual Cokato Corn Carnival will soon be underway. Festivities will begin Monday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. with the parade kicking off the three-day event.
Following the parade, Dakota Road Music, a band sponsored by the Cokato Ministerium, will take the stage, and the midway rides and bingo tent also open in Peterson Park for carnival attendees.
Children are encouraged to register for prize drawings both Tuesday and Wednesday for those 14 years and younger between noon and 3 p.m. Drawings take place at 3:15 p.m. and winners must be present.
Each year, the Corn Carnival serves 12 to 14 tons of corn, attracting long lines of carnival goers awaiting the buttery sweet summer treat. The serving of free corn-on-the-cob donated by Faribault Foods begins Tuesday from 4 to 9 p.m., and again Wednesday.
Also Tuesday, four candidates vie for an opportunity to become the next Miss Cokato during the Miss Cokato Queen Coronation, which starts on the main stage at 8 p.m. With less than seven candidates, one princess will be chosen along with the queen. Candidates are Morgan Berg, Allie Hoernemann, Bethany Mayfield, and Molly Pettit. Read the candidate biographies to learn more about the individual candidates.
Before the children’s prize drawings Wednesday, students of Miss Wendy’s Dance and Fitness will share their talents on the main stage. Performances will begin around 2 p.m.
The popular a cappella group Tonic Sol-fa will be the featured entertainment Wednesday evening with the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band starting off the music at 7 p.m.
Cokato Corn Carnival Chair Dorene Erickson noted that attendance tends to drop off Wednesday evenings, therefore, the committee decided to spend a little more money on a more well-known musical act this year in hopes of shifting that trend.
The a cappella trio aren’t strangers to the Cokato area, having performed three times for audiences at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center, including a holiday show in 2011.
Tonic Sol-fa will take the stage at 8 p.m. The trio will be available following the concert for a meet and greet opportunity for fans.
New this year, no pets in the park! Erickson noted that animals have been increasing in volume during the carnival over the past years and it’s becomes too crowded in the park. Although service animals are always welcome, the committee is requesting all pets be left at home.
Carnival goers are also encouraged to purchase a button for $3, which then enters them into the cash drawing with a top prize of $2,500. All proceeds support the carnival.
With no admission to the carnival, the button sales help keep costs down and allows the carnival to provide quality entertainment, Erickson explained.
In addition, tickets will be available for a chance to win a 2015 Ford Focus. This, and the cash drawings will take place Wednesday at 10 p.m.
The Sunday night ecumenical service will take place at Elim Mission Church, not Peterson Park as previously scheduled.
See the advertisement in the Monday, Aug. 3 print edition of the Enterprise Dispatch for a full Corn Carnival schedule. Look for coverage of the event online at www.dasselcokato.com and in the Monday, Aug. 17 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch.