Get To Know Us

How does a festival with FREE admission come together?

Seventy-three days left until the Sugar Grove Corn Boil’s 50th anniversary kicks off! How does a festival with FREE admission come together? Many of you know that this festival is made possible by volunteers. These volunteers are comprised of Board Members, Committee Chairs, Committee Members, and Volunteers that help during the festival.

Over the years, the committee’s name has changed and evolved. On August 17th, 2004, the committee reorganized under the Sugar Grove Corn Boil, NFP, a not for profit organization. The board is comprised of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Member-at- Large. Under the board, there are 28 committees, which are in charge of planning the event, each with a specific purpose. The individual committees are in charge of creating a budget, defining a variety of expenses, and providing income opportunities. Each committee has a chairperson who serves as committee leader, who speaks on behalf of the committee, during the monthly meetings. The Chair can bring up new ideas their committee may have, allowing the group as a whole to act as a sounding board on a variety of items. When a decision is needed, each chair has the ability to cast their vote, in favor or against the item presented.

Now that you have a basic overview, let us get to know a few of these committees and their Chairs a little better.

Entertainment Committee
4 Individual Members
Committee Chair Since 2012- Doug Reiners
Became involved in 2011
Resides in Sandwich
Employed by Plano Molding, along with other side jobs in the music industry

The Entertainment committee has one of the most important jobs. They are in charge of finding the entertainment you want. These committee members spend their time seeing, listening, researching, and experiencing different musical acts and performers. During their research, they watch how the crowd responds, and then connects with the management team for future contact. Along with the main stage, the Entertainment Committee also oversees the Kid’s Zone and the Car Show.

“The Sugar Grove Corn Boil provides a variety of entertainment that everyone in the family can enjoy! Every year we look to improve what the Entertainment Committee can offer, making memories for our visitors that will last a lifetime”, Doug said. Due to his background in music and production, a friend on the committee asked Doug if he wanted to volunteer and help with the main stage. In addition to helping with the stage, he started bringing in known personalities to come out and sign autographs. “Although, I am not from the town of Sugar Grove, the Corn Boil has welcomed me with open arms and has given me a great opportunity. I believe that it is important that communities continue to offer festivals like this at a high level, that any family can afford to go to and enjoy themselves. We are not just giving them something to do every July, but something to look forward to every year, and look back on with great memories.”

Vendor Booth Committee
2 Individual Members
Committee Chair since 2010- Audrey Ritchey
Became involved in 2009
Resides in Sugar Grove
Employed by Safari Line, Travel Agent

Audrey and her family have lived in Sugar Grove for 14 years. When her son got into middle school, she began looking for volunteer opportunities within the community. She was approached by Beverly Hughes, Committee Chair, and asked if she would help. Co-chairing with Beverly, Audrey learned the ins and outs of the Corn Boil and what they were looking for.

Audrey begins her search in March by looking for vendors that she feels are going to offer products that would interest our festivalgoers. “I enjoy working with others in the community, putting on a festival where friends and families get together to have a good time”, Audrey said. “The Corn Boil offers shopping, carnival rides for young and old, music, and of course an AMAZING fireworks show.”  Over the years, Audrey has grown this area from thirty booths to around one hundred and counting. “This year, my goal is to reach out to others in the community and encourage them to get involved with this great group of people. You will truly find this rewarding!”

Opening Ceremony Committee
Sole Committee Member
Committee Chair since 2010 – Dave Paluch
Became involved in 2009
Resides in Sugar Grove
Employed by Verizon Wireless, Sales
Current Trustee of the Village of Sugar Grove

On Friday night, we kickoff our festival with the opening ceremony. In the beginning, the opening ceremony consisted of the announcement of scholarship winners, Medallion Hunt, and the Citizen of the Year. In 2010, the Corn Boil was looking at ways to boost attendance. David’s idea was to have a theme recognizing specific groups and organizations, and to include a parade to help kick off the event. In recent years, this idea has been carried more into the event, with this year carrying our cause throughout the entire event. Some of the previous themes have been centered around our military, community volunteerism, 100-year anniversary for the Girl Scouts, anti-bullying, civil rights, honoring the Vietnam Era vets, and last year dedicating the event to the Special Olympics. This has given many groups exposure and a forum to promote their cause. This year is no different. We are lending our voice in support of the Autism Community.

“What makes Sugar Grove a great place to live, is the kindness and willingness of our community to come together. The Corn Boil is the staple of our village, we are known for this event, and it’s an honor to be a part of the organization, and the wonderful friends that are part of the Corn Boil organization”, David said. “Reaching out to the various groups, media outlets, coordinating all the participants, is a lot of work but well worth it. With this being a special year for us, I am looking to have the biggest and best parade yet!”

Carnival Committee
Committee Chair since 2010 – Jackie Link
Sugar Grove Corn Boil President 2016-2017
Became involved in 2009
Employed by Old Second Bank, Branch Manager – Sugar Grove
Sugar Grove Chamber President 2016-2017

This committee is in charge of bringing a quality carnival into our festival. Once a contract is in place, the committee organizes the pre-sale of wristbands, provides staff for the ticket booths, and provides a contact for the Carnival Company and our patrons during the festival.

“I encourage you to get involved with this terrific group of people, who have became like a second family to me”, says Jackie Link current president. “When I become the branch manager of Old Second Bank in Sugar Grove, I was approached by a committee member asking if I would volunteer my time during the festival. The year was 2009 and I volunteered counting money in the Carnival ticket booth area. The next year, I spearheaded the committee. Not knowing the “whats”, “whens”, and “hows” about anything in terms of putting on a festival or working with a carnival company, I had a good group that helped teach me. This year marks my eighth year spearheading this committee and my first year as President.”

We continue to share the message that volunteers are needed. Our current Committee Chairs are eager to mentor, share, guide, and teach you. Whatever your strength is, any and all help is needed! Now until the event, two new committees will be highlighted each week, through our Facebook page @sugargrovecornboil. See which one you would like to be involved with and then contact us!