South Florida Sweet Corn Fiesta Heads into 17th Year this Month

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South Florida Sweet Corn Fiesta Heads into 17th Year this Month

Yasir Salem ate 47 ears of Florida sweet corn at last year’s League Eating’s National Sweet Corn Eating Championship to become the reigning champion.

Who/What: The 17th annual South Florida Sweet Corn Fiesta

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun., April 30
Major League Eating’s National Sweet Corn Eating Championship begins at 3 p.m.

Where: Yesteryear Village, South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach

Details: More than 4,000 visitors are expected to attend this annual event to eat some of the best locally grown sweet corn and enjoy other activities for both children and adults. Among the highlights is Major League Eating’s National Sweet Corn Eating Championship. At stake is a total purse prize of $6,100. According to MLE, this 12-minute event is “the ultimate test of technique and capacity, a marathon in which focus and emotional calm is more important than pure power.” At last year’s event, Yasir Salem ate 47 ears of Florida sweet corn to set a new world record. An amateur contest will precede the professional competition. To enter, participants must sign up before 12:45 p.m.

Other highlights include an expanded Kid Zone, sponsored by Florida Crystals, with more rides and other contests beginning at 1 p.m., including old-fashioned bathing suits, kids and adult corn shucking. Two bands — The Krystal River Band and The Sierra Band — will provide live music throughout the day.

The South Florida Sweet Corn Fiesta celebrates Palm Beach County’s heritage as the “Sweet Corn Capital of the World.” Palm Beach County grows more sweet corn than any other county in the US. Local farmers cultivate more than 27,000 acres yearly. Few counties grow half that acreage. In April and May alone, over 7 million crates of fresh Florida Sunshine sweet corn are shipped each year. The local yield is quickly shipped to supermarkets throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and the new varieties can have a refrigerated life of 10 to 12 days. The Sweet Corn Fiesta is an outreach activity of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau and is made possible by sponsors and volunteers. Proceeds go to agriculture education and advocacy and to Glades area food banks. For more information, call (561) 996-0343 or visit the website, http://www.sweetcornfiesta.com.

Admission: $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-11, and free to kids 5 years old and younger. A $5 unlimited rides wristband is available for kids. Parking is free. No outside food or beverages are permitted.