Steve Hollingshead Director of sales and sponsorship for The Tech planted the seed last year when he re-introduced a “corn fest” to the local market. The inaugural event being staged at the Yard in 2015 attracted a crowd of about 800.
This year, the Brew n’corn-fest was re-branded and moved to the Parks Canada Canal area under a new sponsorship with Northern Superior Brew , the Tech and the Yard. Hollingshead a strong believer in collaboration with new sponsors and not for profits to keep growing the event.
“I don’t think you could ever replace the St. Joseph Island corn fest, so that’s number one, we’re never trying to replicate that. We thought we would bring the island corn to the Sault because they stopped doing the event on the island” Hollingshead said. “We want to keep bringing exciting new stuff to the Sault”
The full day of events featured a lumberjack show and competition utilizing a number of different saws, the teams of 6 raced against the clock to saw various size logs as well as climb a 40 foot pole.Live entertainment kept the toes tappin despite the on again, off again showers, and of course locally grown St. Joseph Island corn on the cob and beer tent was a big draw.
Hollingshead sees the event becoming a great tourist attraction and hopes to see Northern Superior Brew and Cornfest .”If there’s a wishlist I would like to see the entire Canal District, so including the Machine Shop , include the Yard with Concerts, include the Canal and perhaps the Farmer’s Market will play and make it a real Downtown event” Hollingshead said.
The Canal area, with it’s recent and on-going improvements made for an excellent backdrop for the 2016 event and the revitalization of the entire area is beginning to take shape for the Cornfest to become a major draw for the area. Hollingshead said the group has had its feelers out and a lot of local businesses are showing more interest, something that the organizers need to keep the event going. Hollingshead pointed out such partnerships as Parks Canada coming on board and Pickard Construction for their help with the lumberjack activities.
“We know the challenges in the Sault, the financial challenges in the Sault but it’s partnerships like we have with Parks Canada for example, this is the first time at any Parks Canada site across Canada that they’ve let an event like this use the canal”
Proceeds from the event were raised in support of ARCH.