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Kid enjoys roasted "Olathe Sweet" sweet corn at 1999 Festival

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Olathe Sweet Corn Festival in Colorado
A Local Legacy

Can sweet corn save a town? It can if that town is Olathe, Colorado!

The town of Olathe used to grow sugar beets and barley, but by the late 1970s those crops weren't in much demand anymore. The town fell on hard times because it depended upon the success of the farmers to survive. Then a farmer named Dave Galinet, who had developed several varieties of sweet corn, decided to move his business to the Olathe area. Olathe had the ideal climate for growing sweet corn - hot days and cool nights. Soon after that, many of the other farmers started to grow sweet corn too, and before long the town was prosperous again.

Olathe decided to celebrate the fact that it was thriving, and what better way than to have a sweet corn festival? The first festival was on a rainy day in August 1992. And guess what? More than 800 people showed up. Nowadays about 20,000 people come to the festival. And you know what they get to do? Eat all the sweet corn they want. In 1999, participants ate 70,000 ears of "Olathe Sweet" donated by the growers. Can you imagine how many people there were to eat that many ears of corn?

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