Corn Roast 2019 a Success; Next Year a Big Anniversary
The 49th Annual Corn Roast Festival at the Union Mills Homestead successfully concluded on August 3, 2019, after feeding almost 1900 guests. For six hours, hungry patrons were served plates of roasted chicken, sliced tomatoes, apple sauce, and a roll, and all the roasted corn they could eat.
Guests of All Ages
By the time the event opened at 11 a.m., a long line had formed. Customers included many loyal supporters who regularly attend the event as well as young families coming for the first time.
Young children could be seen enjoying what was probably their very first ear of corn. Older customers had a knowing look as platters of roasted corn appeared. Perched at one picnic table were two first cousins, Lassie Weidmann and Helen Riley. Weidmann (age 95) and Riley (age 89) are Shriver descendants who have been been coming to the Corn Roast for many years. For them the Corn Roast serves as a family reunion of sorts. The last guests of the day were two sisters, Katherine Shaw and Shirley Barrick. They arrived just before 5 p.m. and enjoyed their meal as volunteers started to clean up the site. Both Shaw and Barrick had worked at the B.F. Shriver Co. canning factory in Westminster as young women, and recounted their days working to can local corn. For the sisters, their meal triggered many fond memories.
A Community Effort
The Corn Roast is truly a community event. The Corn Roast is held on the Union Mills Homestead’s grounds and is sponsored by the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. and the Silver Run-Union Mills Lions Club. Proceeds from the event support the Lions Club’s service projects as well as the Homestead Foundation’s preservation and operation of the Union Mills Homestead site. Volunteers from both organizations are involved in planning and staffing the event. The Lions Club cooks the corn each year. Carroll County Government staff mow the grounds and help assemble all the picnic tables. BSA Scout Troop 733 from Winfield served trays of roasted corn to the tables this year. Members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office staffed the busy intersection at the entrance to the site and provided security. Scores of volunteers worked the food service lines, served drinks, melted butter, and guided visitors through the historic house and mill. Local politicians visited with constituents over ears of roasted corn.
A Major Anniversary Next Year
This year’s event was the 49th annual Corn Roast at the site. Next year’s Corn Roast will be the 50th Anniversary, marking 50 years since the Corn Roast started in 1970. Planning will soon be underway to make sure next year’s Corn Roast is a special celebration of the long-time community function. Held each year in the tradition of harvest picnics and frolics held at Union Mills in times gone by, the Corn Roast brings the community together to celebrate the area’s proud agricultural heritage.