It’s the official start of the 2022 North Branford Potato and Corn Festival.
“If you are having corn and potatoes this is the best place to be,” said Festival Supervisor David Sokoloff.
The four-day event is back after being canceled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was disappointing not to have it for the community, but we are back better than ever,” said Festival Coordinator Elisa Pannone.
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Ten thousand potatoes from out-of-state and 9,000 ears of corn grown locally are ready to be served.
Organizers say this year, they prepared for the heatwave by having more volunteers to rotate cooking shifts and they brought in extra resources to cool off.
“It’s brutal, it’s very hot, this year we have air-conditioned vehicles, bathrooms air conditioned, we try to have a handful of us,” Sokoloff said.
The owner of California Curly Fries also prepared to keep his employees safe during the high temperatures.
“We have a couple big extra fans that we put in, beside our big exhaust fan we have inside, we have a lot of frozen water, cold drinks and a couple seats where we can sit when we get tired,” said owner Kevin Karr.
Organizers tell us there are misting fans around the fairgrounds and there is an emergency tent ready for anyone who may be experiencing heat-related illnesses.
“We will have EMTs, tents that will be set up for emergencies if anyone has any issues,” Pannone said.
Everyone from new to old volunteers, and longtime vendors are excited the event is back.
“It was good to embrace, we all kind of hugged quite a bit,” Sokoloff said.
“It's great seeing all the people, getting it all done, it's awesome, can’t ask for much more," a food vendor owner added.
The event will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A fireworks show is scheduled for Saturday at 9:15 p.m.
“We have a finale which we think will blow everyone away and I have a couple surprises planned,” Sokoloff said.
Admission is free. Residents can park in the lot next door for $20 or use the free shuttle.