When anyone from Indiana thinks of the one thing their state is known for, it’s corn. Corn is everywhere in Indiana, and come August, the harvesting can begin. The Annual St. John Community Corn Roast, hosted by the St. John Chamber of Commerce, celebrated a corn-filled Indiana tradition. Going strong for 15 years, the Corn Roast attracted many community members for a great cause.
St. John Chamber of Commerce representative Gina Fezler loves this event for that reason.
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“The event is very community-driven, very family-centric,” Fezler said. “The Hanover Central High School Marching Band is kicking things off for us for entertainment. We have a DJ throughout the night, lots of games sponsored by our local businesses and organizations for both adults and children. In addition to that, we have our K9 officers, who will be doing demonstrations throughout the evening with their K9s.”
Not only does the event have many opportunities to have fun but the proceeds collected go toward students’ college tuition in the form of $1500 scholarships.
“The proceeds of this event go toward scholarships that are awarded to graduating high school seniors who show amazing involvement, as well as great academics,” Fezler said. “This past year we awarded five $1500 scholarships based on the proceeds this event brings in. This is the Chamber’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and we do it in conjunction with the Tri-Town Rotary, which includes St. John, Schererville, and Dyer.”
The Corn Roast also invites local businesses to come and help support the Chamber.
“This is also a great way to showcase our local businesses; we have 30 out here today,” Fezler said. “We are comprised of about 200 businesses in our Chamber of Commerce, so it’s good to see some of them out here. Each tent hosts some type of raffle or a give-a-way or something fun along those lines. Everyone here has a good time.”
Tri-Town Rotary also helps raise a lot of the funds that go toward the scholarships. Tri-Town Rotary President Randy Gootee is really happy with the involvement Rotary has with this event.
“The Rotary actually raises a lot of the funds for the scholarships beforehand,” Gootee said. “All the members have to sell at least 10 tickets each, so we raise a lot of money even before it starts. Almost every Rotary member is here volunteering for this event. There’s huge involvement from both Tri-town Rotary and the [St. John] Chamber, as well.”
Gootee really enjoys the Corn Roast and thinks it is a great way to gather both friends and family.
“This fest is such a neighborhood-friendly event,” Gootee said. “It’s not a really big event; it’s a nice place to take your family. It’s a great place to come out, listen to some music, and eat some great food.”
As the many colorful pictures in our gallery illustrate, the 15th Annual St. John Corn Roast proved a fitting way to spend an August night in Indiana.