It’s All Eyes and Ears in North Branford
Usually corn and potatoes are considered common,
some might even say lowly, but on the first weekend of August the
residents of North Branford elevate the two starchy staples to
extraordinary heights. In its 15th year, the Potato and Corn
Festival now brings tens of thousands of visitors over four days to the
typically sleepy farm town.
Emerging almost overnight in a hay field at the
former Augur Farm on Rt. 22 in the middle of town, a midway with rides,
dozens of food vendors, craft vendors, potato sack races, corn
shucking contests, tractor pulls and a classic car show all appear. Many
local and far flung bands perform and a spectacular fireworks display,
some say among the best in the state, occurs on Saturday night. And of course, there are baked potatoes and roasted corn.
The event has become much loved. "In such a small
town, to have many hundreds of volunteers, from high school sports teams
directing parking to our seniors scrubbing potatoes, it’s just amazing,”
Tracey Fair, "Volunt-ear Corn-mittee” Chair, said recently. Much of the
work of organizing the event is done by a dedicated group of residents
who devote many hours on task-groups and committees.