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The first Urbana Sweetcorn Festival was held in August 1975 in the parking lot at Main & Race Streets in downtown Urbana. It was a community event put on by the employees of local business Busey Bank.

The Urbana Business Association is now responsible for the planning of the festival, over the years adding an expanded family area, live music on multiple stages, food, vendors, and beer all in the heart of downtown Urbana.


  • Around 20,000 ears of sweet corn are consumed each year at the festival.
  • We get the corn from a nearby Illinois farm (Maddox Farms), so our corn is fresh, local, and delicious!
  • We use an antique steam engine to cook the corn.
  • The festival promotes green efforts by offering recycling receptacles throughout the festival, and we compost our corncobs!


Got a question? We’ve got an answer for you!

I’m coming from out of town — where should I stay?
A. The Sweetcorn Festival partners with excellent area hotels to provide attendees with discounted rates. Ask for the Sweetcorn rate when you call to book your stay!

Q. Where do I buy my ticket to get in?
A. You don’t need one! Admittance to the festival is free and yes — that includes seeing the bands. 

Q. Do I need to buy tickets for food and drink at the festival?
NO! Urbana Sweetcorn Festival 2020 will be a completely ticketless festival. Cash, credit, and debit will be accepted at both beer tent. CASH ONLY will be accepted at the corn tent!

Q. Can I bring a bag/purse/bookbag with me?
A. Yes, but your bag/purse/bookbag must be clear or see-through or else it will be checked by festival security.

Q. What is there to do at the Sweetcorn Festival?
A. Plenty! There’ll be over 80 food and drink vendors to satisfy any craving, informational and merchandise vendors to learn from and shop at, dozens of kid’s activities, and two nights of live music featuring local favorites. Oh, did we mention the best-tasting sweet corn the fine state of Illinois has to offer?

Q. Can I volunteer at the festival?
A. Absolutely! Visit our volunteer page for more information. Thank you, potential volunteer!

Q. Can I bring my pet dog/cat/chicken to Sweetcorn?
A. Sorry, no. We love animals too, but it’s best to leave the furry/feathered friends at home for this.

Q. What if it rains?
A. The show will go on! A little rain won’t scare us away from giving you your sweet corn fix. As long it’s safe for our guests, vendors, and entertainers, the weather doesn’t bother us!

Q. Where can I park that’s close to the festival?
A. Glad you asked! Did you know there are HUNDREDS of parking spaces near downtown Urbana? Here’s a map of where you can park, FOR FREE, within walking distance from the festival.

Q. I want to have a booth at the festival this year. How do I go about doing that?
A. Easy! Check out the vendor page for more information on pricing, space size, and availability. 

Q. You didn’t answer my question. Help?
A. Anything we didn’t cover here we’ll do our best to answer for you! Send an email to [email protected] and let’s talk.

Urbana Business Association
111 W. Main Street, Urbana IL 61801
(217) 344-3872