Marian Will, of Oak Park, prepares the corn on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, during the Farmers Market annual corn roast fundraiser in Oak Park, Ill. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

The Oak Park Farmers Market hosted its annual corn roast on Aug. 14 after a pandemic-related hiatus in 2020. Freshly shucked corn, donated by long-time market vendors Geneva Lakes Produce and R. Smits & Sons, was roasted and dunked in melted butter from Brunkow Cheese. The combination brought smiles to market goers’ faces. 

“We are so excited to have the corn roast back this season,” said Jill Stewart, Oak Park Farmers Market commissioner. “It’s such a good representation of the market itself – the corn is donated by our farmers; volunteers roast and serve it to our community. It’s one of the best special events of the year, and it’s a great fundraiser, too.”

Under the advisement of Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder, Oak Park’s public health director, lines were structured and managed to avoid crowding at the corn roast. 

Chapple-McGruder also attended the virtual meeting of the Oak Park Farmers Market commission on Aug. 11 and indicated in addition to “de-densifying spaces” at the corn roast she would be assessing other farmers market events in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases within the village. 

Chapple-McGruder will determine if upcoming market events like stone soup and the annual pie baking contest will function with mitigation or need to be canceled all together. A new health order related to the market is forthcoming according to Chapple-McGruder.

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