Things got a little corny Friday morning at the Brown County Fair.
That's when fair board members and friends of the fair shucked an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 ears of sweet corn that were then fed, free of charge, to fair-goers in what's become a popular annual event.
Before the corn hit the plate, there were two corn-shucking competitions. One featured kids, the other fair board members and their friends.
Jeremy Krueger, territory manager for Wensman Seed, the company that sponsors the contest and feed, estimated 500 to 600 people go through the line, most taking a couple of ears of buttered kernels. He said he believes this was the seventh year for the sweet corn feed, which is a customer-appreciation event.
Todd and Cheryl Oschner of Aberdeen provided a pickup bed full of corn that was shucked at the fairgrounds well before noon, Krueger said. Wensman dealers and territory managers help serve the meal, he said.
There was no word on who ate the quickest, but 14-year-old Mackenzie Schultz of Rapid City won the kids' shucking competition. She cleared the husks off of nine ears of corn in 51 seconds. In the fair board competition, Davin Johnson cleared 10 cobs in 43 seconds to win.
— Scott Waltman
Attendance formula simple enough
Folks sometimes wonder how the Brown County Fair attendance figures are compiled. The formula is simple. There are traffic counters at the fairgrounds. The total number of vehicles that crosses the counters is multiplied by 2.4 — the average number of people per vehicle, according to a state Department of Transportation study from years back. The fair attendance estimates include people who go to the fair more than once per day.
Last year's fair drew an estimated 286,482 people, a record. Here are other attendance estimates from recent years.
• 2011: 259,246
• 2010: 236,000
• 2009: 246,684
• 2008: 243,000
• 2007: 220,000
— Scott Waltman
Weather muddles plans
South Dakota's ever-changing weather botched some of Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plans this week, including the first stop he was supposed to make in Aberdeen on Friday when the city was proclaimed capital for a day.
Because of heavy fog, the governor's plane couldn't land at the Aberdeen airport as scheduled about 9 a.m., so a Main Street walking tour had to be scrapped.
Thursday night, cloudy conditions also prevented Daugaard from a planned sky dive. He said he went through on-the-ground training and the plane even took off, but the pilot ruled that there just too many clouds over the landing area.