The Cokato Corn Carnival has set itself apart from other area festivals by hosting events during the week rather than on a weekend. This year marks the 70th annual gathering Monday-Wednesday, Aug. 12-14.
Participating in the festivities will be the Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival royal family: Miss Hutchinson Erika Tillmann and Princess Abigail Riewer, Junior Commodore Javier Alvarado Jr. and Junior Queen Julia Knorr, and Mr. Hutchinson Joe Keilen and Hutchinson Woman of the Year Maxine Engwall.
Watch the town’s representatives in the Corn Carnival Parade at 6:20 p.m. Monday. The parade begins at Broadway Avenue and Seventh Street East.
Another highlight of this year’s event is an appearance by the Minneapolis-based a cappella group Tonic Sol-fa. The group will close out the festival with a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Peterson Park in downtown Cokato. The award-winning vocal ensemble has performed at the Corn Carnival twice before.
Corn Carnival activities begin on Monday, Aug. 12, with the Kiddie Parade at 6 p.m. As has been done for the past few years, there are no formal categories. All Kiddie Parade participants will receive participation prizes, which include complimentary ride tickets for the Midway. Registration for the Kiddie Parade begins at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Seventh Street East. The main parade will follow after the conclusion of the Kiddie Parade.
Following the parades, the food stands, bingo and Midway rides in Peterson Park will open. On the main stage, The Purple Hulls along with Charlie and Soren Bortnem will provide music. The Cokato Museum will also open 5-9 p.m. Monday with its featured display, “A Kernal of Time: Celebrating the 70th annual Corn Carnival.”
Park activities for Tuesday begin at noon when the Midway and rides open (weather permitting). Food stands will also open in the afternoon. Registration for the children’s prize drawings is noon-3 p.m., with drawings at 3:15 p.m. You must be present to win. Information stands and button sales begin at 12:30 p.m. Bingo starts at 1:30 p.m. Free corn on the cob is served 4-9 p.m. at the Corn Stand.
The Cokato Museum is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. The Friends of the Cokato Library Book Sale will be in the Centennial Room of the library/museum building 2–7 p.m. The culmination of the day is the 72nd annual Miss Cokato Coronation ceremony at 8 p.m. on the main stage in Peterson Park.
On Wednesday, activities again start in the afternoon with the children’s prize drawings, button sales, bingo, Midway and food stands. Registration for the children’s prize drawings runs noon-3 p.m., with the drawings at 3:15 p.m. Once again you must be present to win. Free corn on the cob runs is 4-9 p.m. The Cokato Museum is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and the Used Book Sale continues 2-7 p.m. in the Centennial Room.
Wednesday night features live music by the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band at 7 p.m., followed by Tonic Sol-fa, both on the main stage at Peterson Park.
The finale of the carnival arrives at 10 p.m., with the drawing for the cash prizes and the separate raffle for the 2019 Ford Fusion. Tickets for the car are still available. Those interested in purchasing a ticket should check with Cokato City Hall, Holt Motors or members of the Cokato Fire Department. Cost per ticket is $100.
For more information, visit cokatocorncarnival.com or the Cokato Corn Carnival’s Facebook page.