Sweet Corn Festival Causes Concerns This Weekend
It's a common gripe. "There is nothing to do in Cedar Rapids!" There is plenty to do. To start, just head downtown for another Farmers' Market this weekend. As a longtime Cedar Rapids resident, I am proud of the recreational and entertainment opportunities our community continues to provide. I've also yet to hear many suggestions on how to alleviate the so-called lack of anything to do. But if we're not careful about incidents like the one that happened recently, we will continue to truly have less and less to do.
A family fun tradition dating back 40 years took place last weekend, the St. Jude's Sweet Corn Festival in Southwest Cedar Rapids. The festival got underway with some parking issues on the site at St. Jude's Catholic Church due to heavy rain in the days leading up to it. They had redirected festival-goers to park at the old K-Mart site on 16th Avenue SW and take a free provided shuttle to the event.
If only weather and parking had been the only issues. Saturday evening, the festival closed down about an hour earlier than planned. Everyone was sent on their way due to a group of young teenagers being "mischievous" to say the least. Fights broke out, and while no weapons were said to have been involved in the incident, several local law enforcement agencies were brought in to deal with the problem. The festival resumed as normal for its final day on Sunday.
KCRG had reported more on this situation but Cedar Rapids residents are now turning their attention to keep this from happening again in the future. Charging for admission, while lowering the cost for rides and other activities once through the gate might be a plausible solution. But in this Cedar Rapidian's opinion, the issue needs to be addressed one way or another before next year's festival. That way Cedar Rapids can continue to enjoy nice things without adding fuel to the fire of those in the "nothing to do here" camp. As CBS2 has reported, there are already concerns from some festival patrons about returning for the event. There is a much wider issue with violence to solve as well, but that may be above my pay grade. Overall, congratulations are in order to festival organizers for another great event this year.
What are your thoughts on the situation at the Sweet Corn Festival and how would you make sure it doesn't happen again? Share your thoughts in the comments.