The harvest season is fully underway and you’ll see combines working in the fields late into the night. But there was a time when the crops were harvested by hand, and this weekend Kimballton plays host to the Iowa State Corn Husking contest and festival. Clayton Nielsen is a spokesperson for the event. He says there’s a reason people travel quite a ways to take in the activities. He thinks it’s because of nostalgia, and says he got a recent call from a Marshalltown man who “just wanted to see something like this.” Some people long to see how the task was accomplished before the days of heavy machinery, while for others, it’s a fun trip down memory lane. Nielsen says the festivities begin with a banquet Saturday night (tonight), in the town hall. They’re serving fried chicken and minute steaks, on a buffet table set up as a “feed bunk.” Nielsen says Sunday (tomorrow) morning, they’ll feed visitors an aebelskiver breakfast at the town hall. Aebelskiver’s a Danish delicacy — Nielsen says it’s a rich pancake about the size of a small baseball. Registration for the husking contest gets underway nine-A.M. Sunday at the field, followed by a parade on Main street at 9:30. At least six teams of huskers and their wagons will line up along the route. A flag-raising ceremony will take place just before ten, and then the contest begins featuring nearly 60 huskers in a field located on the east edge of Kimballton. Nielsen says the corn husking event features contests in nine classes and several different ages groups. From youngsters to “golden agers” there’ll be three winners in each category who’ll go on to the national contest at Marshall, Missouri two weeks from now. He says there’s more to the process than just pulling the corn and husking it…there’s skill involved. Nielsen says a good picker can typically pick about 30-ears per minute. In addition to their speed, he says contestants are judged on how much husk they leave on the corn.
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