ROCKWELL CITY - Among the many attractions at the annual Rockwell City Sweet Corn Daze were a parade, vendors, games, car show and a flea market. But getting a good ear of well-cooked sweet corn topped of the list.
To make sure it's done just right takes a crew of volunteers - and a purpose-built roaster.
Don Litwiller, Jack DeBolt and Gilbert Hildreth, all of Rockwell City, took care of the volunteer part.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Don Litwiller, of Rockwell City, loads a few more ears of corn into a gas fired corn roaster Saturday morning during the annual Corn Daze celebration. Behind him is Jack DeBolt, also of Rockwell City.
Each had a well-defined role.
DeBolt's was important.
"I"m the supervisor," he joked as Litwiller loaded fresh corn into the roaster.
Litwiller said that inside the roaster trays holding three ears of corn each rotate through the machine on a chain drive. The whole process takes 70 minutes. Fully loaded, the machine will have 156 ears somewhere between "just loaded" and "falling out fully cooked."
Litwiller said it's a fundraiser to keep the annual event going.
"We sell it for a buck an ear," he said. "A lot of people come back for two or three."
While few would argue that rain is needed in the area - perhaps the timing of it Saturday morning during the time scheduled for the annual Sweet Corn Daze parade might have been a little off.
Or not - few really seemed to mind and most came prepared.
Colleen Wood, of Gowrie, brought along a big umbrella big enough for both her and her sister, Linda Fiscus, of Harlan.
"We're thankful for the rain," Fiscus said.
Wood thought it might be late though.
"We should have had this a couple of weeks ago," she said.
Les Johnson, who was helping out with the Twin Lakes Masonic Lodge 478 pancake feed, simply moved around the corner of the building under an awning.
Then after the rain stopped, he got busy with a roll of paper towels to dry the seating.
"I don't mind at all," he said. "It can save some beans."
Sandy Devereaux, of Pocahontas, was one of about a dozen vendors set up on the town square. She sells antiques and collectibles. Her show partner, Dawn Reese, of Manson, sells homemade jams and jellies.
"It didn't bother us a bit," Devereaux said.
She said she expected to do a good day's business and was looking forward to the wares offered by the other vendors - a process made easier by the two of them taking turns minding the store.
"We take turns seeing the other vendors," she said.
Kolton Ollinger, 3, of Granger, covered up his ears as the fire trucks passed by. The noise of the sirens was just a bit too much even though he loves fire engines.
His mom, Kendra Ollinger, said she enjoyed watching the parade with her children and that she particularly likes the small town environment.
The forecast didn't even begin to bother her.
"Let's just get in the car and go," she said. "We won't melt."