LAKE BLUFF — Fresh corn will be roasting all morning Friday in downtown Lake Bluff — and all the ears are free.
The Lake Bluff Farmers Market will hold its annual Corn Roast from approximately 9 a.m. to noon August 11 around the Village Green. The market itself opens at 7 a.m. but Market Manager Gridley Swanton said it takes a little time to get the corn ready.
“They have to get the roaster fired up and cook the corn,” said Swanton. “They should be ready to start around 9 a.m. This is a time for community spirit and a chance to let people know what we do.”
Swanton said the Corn Roast has been going on between 18 and 20 years. The market is in its 24th. Some 600 ears of corn are purchased from the market’s four produce vendors — Cashmore Produce and Ponics, Six Generations’ Farmin’ Local, Twin Gardens, and Krazy Fox Farms — and distributed by members of the Lake Bluff Fire Department.
The event is held the second Friday in August because that is when local corn is at its best.
“This is when we know the corn will be delicious,” said Swanton. “It has a very short window and we want people to eat it when it is just right.”
The fire department’s involvement in the Corn Roast began three years ago, according to Sean Bjork, who grew up in Lake Bluff and is now raising his family in the village. He is both a firefighter and a member of the Farmers Market Committee.
“Who better to hand out the corn than a bunch of guys from across the street,” Bjork said. “It’s a fun way to have an opportunity to give something away that’s so much fun to eat in the summer. And, it’s healthy.”
Bjork, an investment counselor, said his involvement in both the Farmers Market and the volunteer fire department was surreptitious.
One day Bjork had not been back in Lake Bluff long with his family, he was walking his dog when he ran into a person he knew who was on the board. He soon applied and was a member. Joining the fire department also came from reconnecting with an old friend.
“I ran into an old friend who I had last seen when we played lacrosse together in high school,” said Bjork. I asked him where he was going and he said, ‘training.’”
The friend was Tyler Graf, son of Lake Bluff Fire Chief David Graf. “I went along to see what it was like and I decided to sign up,” Bjork said. “I went home and told my wife I was going to become a firefighter.”
Along with the corn roast and the market’s regular vendors, a balloon artist will be at the market twisting creations for children, and Austin McGreevy will play guitar and sing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.