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Hi, I am Lauren Linares, Miss Hoopeston 2019!

I graduated from Hoopeston Area High School in 2018 and am now attending my second year at Danville Area Community College. I am honored to serve as the official hostess of the 76th National Sweetcorn Festival and National Sweetheart Pageant. The annual Labor Day weekend festivities will begin Aug. 29, and conclude on Sept. 2 in McFerren Park.

The festival will officially begin on Thursday evening with “Bracelet Night” for the carnival rides and Bingo. Walking along the Midway you will find an array of food vendors and all the carnival games and rides. As I was growing up this was my favorite night to enjoy the Sweetcorn Festival and bring home a goldfish as a carnival game prize! Friday night we will welcome country music singer Joe Diffie to the festival as he performs in the Annex. Early Saturday morning the flea market will open and the Bill Orr Memorial 5K will start at Sculpt Fitness. Also happening downtown that morning will be the Grand Parade, which features many members of the community and surrounding area who will be participating in the parade or spectating along the route. In the park on Saturday, you should visit the car show, watch various entertainment at Center Stage, and pick up your free, hot, buttery sweetcorn at the steam engine. Extending beyond the park into the Annex are two new attractions to the festival: laser tag and a cornhole tournament, as well.

The National Sweetheart Pageant will be held Saturday and Sunday evenings in the Civic Center located in McFerren Park. Thirty talented contestants are vying for the title of Miss National Sweetheart 2019. The pageant is a long-standing tradition for Hoopeston and I cannot wait to be a part of it!

These are just a few of the events happening over the weekend, be sure to check the schedule for a full list of events and times. I hope to meet many visitors, as well as familiar faces, over the weekend. Come join the community and see the great work Festival Chairman Brad Hardcastle and the Hoopeston Jaycees have done to put this festival together! See you there!