Tributes, new entertainment part of 40th Sweet Corn Festival in Fairborn

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

FAIRBORN — Tributes, new performers, and plenty of food and entertainment are all part of the 40th Sweet Corn Festival this weekend.

The Community Park event Saturday and Sunday will include more than 160 vendors offering a variety of arts and crafts, as well as the signature steamed cooked sweet corn and barbeque chicken, said Warren Brown, festival chair.

But special this year will the recognition of the event’s kings and queens, including 2022′s pair, Jane and Bill Doorley.

The Doorleys have delivered food and made home visits to needy families for the St. Vincent De Paul Society for more than 30 years, organizers said. Since 2015, they have managed the Fairborn FISH Food Pantry.

They will join previous festival royalty to be recognized in the opening ceremony, said Brown, who has been involved with the event since its inception.

“We’ve got a fair amount who are planning on coming,” Brown added.

On the entertainment stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, Gary Johnson and his daughter Mary Jo plan “a short, high energy, fiddling/string performance” dedicated to the memory of Sue Red, a former festival coordinator who died last year.

“Sue was dedicated to the success of the festival for many years and always made requests for fiddling music,” Johnson, event entertainment coordinator, said in an email.

New performers to the lineup that includes more than 15 entertainers will be Felita LaRock and her band, as well as the Bob D’Epiro and Gary Fenton Duo, Johnson said.

LaRock “is a well-seasoned” singer with a range of musical tastes who was a lead vocalist with the United States Air Force Band of Flight at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he added.

D’Epiro and Fenton are “talented, experienced musicians with deep roots in Fairborn,” Johnson said.

Youth entertainment both days will include pony rides, train rides and face painting, organizers said.

Another shuttle will be added to and from the parking area, Brown said.


•What: 40th Sweet Corn Festival.

•When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

•Where: Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn.

•Parking and admission: Free.



•11 a.m.: Opening

•11:10: Fairborn Civic Band

•Noon: AC Strings/Fairborn Regional Orchestra

•1 p.m.: The Celtic Academy Irish Dancers

•2: Felita LaRock

•3: Shimmy Cats Belly Dancing

•4:30: Mike Hemmelgarn, ventriloquist

•5:30: Young at Heart Line Dancers

•6:30: Bob D’Epiro and Gary Fenton Duo


•11 a.m.: Silvergrass Band

•Noon: Ed Lovely Band

•1 p.m.: Yellow Rockers Square Dancing

•2: 18 Strings

•2: Miami Valley Dance

•3: Dayton Metro Barbershop Chorus

•4: The 5 Points Cloggers

•5: Miami Valley Mystic Flutes & Tribal Drums

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