In honour of the Morden Corn & Apple Festival‘s 50th anniversary in 2016, here’s our list of 50 reasons why I took my family to this year’s festival and why you need to take yours next year.
1. There’s corn
If the fields lining the highways into town are any indication, the corn is 100% fresh and local.
2. And it’s free!
3. Or you can buy it for 50 cents a cob
The line for the free corn can be intense, so you can opt for the shorter line and support the festival with a 50 cent cob of deliciousness. The free corn line will be shorter later in the afternoon, but don’t wait too long, or it will all be gone!
4. You can also buy some corn to take home with you
Opt for a dozen for $7.50 or a giant bag for $25.
5. And you will have an amazing dinner the next day
6. There’s also free apple juice!
7. Or try the local apple cider
For just $1.00 a cup.
8. And take home a gallon jug
This super flavourful cider is $12 and it comes in a cool glass jug.
9. The festival is free!
There is no admission to the festival, which offers three jam-packed days of family fun.
10. That includes a midway, Farmer’s Market, vendors, children’s tent and stages
That’s a lot to do.
11. The music and performances on the three free stages are varied
The Cottonwood Old Tyme Stage is where to get your polka on, the Youth Stage is where to get your laughs on, and the Main Stage is where to get your rock and country on, with big name headliners on Friday and Saturday nights.
12. Don’t forget the dancing!
The wooden dance floor at the Cottonwood Stage is the place to be for waltzing, fox trotting, and two stepping.
13. The midway is massive
14. There are games and rides for kids of all ages
15. And you can admire the view down Stephen Street from the top of the Ferris wheel
16. The festival is easy to navigate on foot
Eight blocks of Stephen Street in downtown Morden are closed to all traffic so it’s easy to walk from one end of the festival site to the other.
17. You can’t walk too far without seeing a Mini Donut stand
18. Because there are tons of food vendors
Choose from pizza, corn dogs, barbecue, or, if you’re like us, beef on a bun from the local Elks Lodge.
19. Also, kettle corn
Or as my kid calls it, peddle corn. Either way, it’s addicting.
20. Enter the pie eating contest!
Apple, of course.
21. Enjoy the pancake breakfast
Do pancakes go with corn? Why not!
22. Stop in for a light lunch
Get your energy for a weekend of fun.
23. The Children’s Tent is full of good times
24. Like face painting and a petting zoo
25. And exotic animals
26. You might even get the chance to enjoy a quiet moment
Thanks to the colouring station offered by one of the vendors.
27. But then it’s back to more rides thanks to the kind strangers who give your their extra tickets
28. Speaking of kind, the volunteers are awesome!
It takes a huge effort to put this festival on and every volunteer we came across was super nice and helpful. Look for festival volunteers in bright yellow t-shirts.
29. You might also see this guy
30. Free shuttles
These constantly running school buses will pick you up and drop you off at key areas around the festival, and around town, including the large parking lot at the Access Event Centre, the beach, and the campground.
31. Yes, you can go to the beach
32. You can also go golfing
The Minnewasta Golf Course is next to the beach.
33. And you can shop
The shops of Morden have their doors open.
34. Watch the parade
It happens on Saturday morning!
35. Watch racing
The ALH Speedway offers special Corn & Apple dirt track racing during the festival.
36. Check out cars
Classic cars reign at Sunday’s show and shine.
37. Check out art
Local artists from the Pembina Hills Arts Council share their work and don’t forget Artist and Artisan Alley.
38. Check out more art
The Art Walk offers interactive demonstrations by skilled area artists. This year’s activities included a special group painting project in honour of the festival’s 50th anniversary.
39. Check out the Wind Warrior Challenge
Watch as trained wind turbine technicians and crane operators complete a series of judged challenges.
40. Take a free historical bus tour of Morden
Enjoy an hour-long tour in an air conditioned bus and learn about the town’s unique history. Including the reason why the creek running through town is called Dead Horse Creek (hint: it has something to do with a dead horse).
41. Free parking
There is tons of free parking at the Access Event Centre on the north end of town. The free shuttle makes this a convenient place to park.
42. And in case you haven’t done enough, the Access Event Centre has even more fun
43. There’s a kid’s play area
Where the kids can literally climb the walls!
44. The Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame
45. And the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
Now a Manitoba Signature Museum, the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre houses Canada’s largest collection of marine reptile fossils.
46. Including the Guinness World Record largest mosasaur on display — Bruce
This 80 million-year-old fellow is 43 feet long!
47. Don’t forget his pal Suzy
They make quite a pair.
48. Go on a dig tour
This two-hour tour let you get your hands dirty with the chance to unearth an authentic fossil with the dedicated folks at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.
49. Don’t miss the mosasaur photo op
The new replica of Bruce is found at the town’s entrance on Hwy 3.
50. And finally, corn and apple cider