Taber’s most famous export is on full display as the Alberta town’s Cornfest continues.
For decades, Taber has been synonymous with excellent tasting corn, which the community says is due to long, sunny days paired with cool night that bring out the sugars in the corn — plus good soil, irrigation water and expert farming practices.
The family festival celebrating local agriculture returns for its 48th year and it’s been a busy start for those taking part.
“It was really good. Really busy, busier than we thought it was going to be for the first day,” said Nathan Cote, who was serving up burgers as part of a fundraiser for the MD of Taber’s regional fire services.
Southern Albertans coming to the grounds for attractions like the midway, live music and food vendors, alongside corn-themed events like a cornbread contest and corn eating competition.
“It’s fun time to get together and have fun,” said TJ Dunlop as he was taking in rides on the midway. “It’s like having our own little theme park here in Taber.”
That atmosphere is also enjoyed by some of the vendors, who point to the environment as the reason why they keep coming back.
“We’ve always enjoyed coming,” Purple Cow operator Tina Dyck said. “The whole setup is nice, you have the midway and the free concert and it’s just a very family-oriented festival, so that’s something we really appreciate.”
A hit with the community, Cornfest is also important for local groups.
The MD of Taber’s regional fire services is just one of the organizations benefitting from the three-day event.
“It’s a really good opportunity for us to get out in the community and for us to raise a little bit of funding,” Cote said.
“It helps our firefighters immensely in building up our training centre and helping us with our training programs for our fire department.”
While Cornfest gives people a chance to try some barbecue or hit the rides, organizers say it also lets the community recognize local producers.
“We take it for granted, I think, that we have such great produce grown right here in Taber and corn is no exception,” Cornfest chair Joanne Sorensen said.
“It’s really cool to be driving across the country and seeing Taber corn markets. We’re pretty proud about it.”
The festival continues Saturday with events like a corn-tasting competition and corn-stuffing contest.