When I was growing up, it was the Arenzville Burgoo that created a sense of community for me. Late each summer, everyone gathered in the town square to make the thick, smoky chowder. The making was as important as the eating! Made of chicken, beef and other top-secret ingredients, the chowder cooked for hours overnight in an iron kettle over a wood-burning fire.
Having bought my first home in Chatham in 1989, one of the first things my wife and I quickly grew to appreciate was the sense of community which reminded me of Arenzville, a Cass county town, population 409. And the Chatham Sweet Corn Festival reminds me very much of the annual Arenzville Burgoo.
Just like the burgoo, the Sweet Corn Festival is a time when everyone gets together for good food and fellowship. It starts with the set-up and the shucking of the corn. It’s followed by kids having fun things to do and parents getting to take a break and catching up with their neighbors.
On top of that, the Chatham Jaycees raises money to do so many great things for the “village” of Chatham. Because we don’t have a park district funded by tax dollars, the Jaycees use the funds raised from the festival to keep our parks looking great. They look so great, most people would think they are supported by tax dollars!
INB likes to support local communities, too. So when the Jaycees came asking for support, INB wanted to step up. That worked well for me, as my predecessor company, United Wealth Strategies (now part of INB Wealth Strategies), had been a Platinum Sponsor since 2007. So now, INB is a Stage Sponsor.
But the Chatham Sweet Corn Festival is so much more than sweet corn. There’s live music, CrossFit, and a soccer tournament. And the highlight? The Illinois Championship Cow Chip Throw! Come watch the pies fly through the sky Friday and Saturday, July 17-18 at the Chatham Community Park.