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Aw, shucks: Annual corn feed could be the last for Immanuel

Submitted photo Volunteers shuck corn for a previous all-you-can-eat sweet corn feed at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Lovers of sweet corn beware: This year’s annual all-you-can-eat sweet corn feed at Immanuel Lutheran Church could be the last.

Those hoping for one more bite of the tasty tradition can still get their summery, sweet corn fix from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the church, located at 1403 9th Ave. SE.

Everyone is invited.

Tickets are $10 each, with consideration for families, and may be purchased at the door, where cleaned and bagged corn will also be available for sale.

“A lot of the same people come year after year,” said Robert Ness, co-chair of the Last Chance Sweet Corn Feed, along with Jo Christianson.

“It’s the 20th (sweet corn feed) — we’ve hit a milestone,” Christianson said.

The event is quite popular, and typically serves more than 400 people. Proceeds go toward various church projects, including outreach, but also including things like resurfacing the parking lot and the purchase of an automatic external defibrillator.

Sweet corn will be provided by the Willow Bank Hutterite Colony near Edgeley, with homemade pickles and creamed cucumbers from members of Immanuel.

And in order to feed the crowd, Immanuel members and their friends and family will make 125 pounds of ground beef into barbecues and husk, clean and cook 220 dozen ears of corn — 2,640 cobs in all.

“We have lots and lots of napkins,” Ness said.

As people wait to be seated, they’ll get to listen to the bluegrass of Spiritwood Creek, and after the event is over, any unused excess food will be donated to people who need it.

Is it the last?

“We’re just an aging congregation,” Christianson said.

“We get good cooperation,” Ness said, noting that about 40 volunteers help make the sweet corn feed possible.

However, people seem less willing to take on organization of the event — though there is a possibility that another organization could cooperate with Immanuel and eventually take it over, Christianson said.

If not, Sunday’s sweet corn feed could be the last.

The fundraiser began in 1994, with the church’s need for a fellowship hall addition. Tying the fundraiser to the movie “Field of Dreams,” in which an Iowan farmer builds a baseball field in a corn field, Immanuel set out to build its own dream — the fellowship hall.

The congregation succeeded and dedicated its fellowship hall in 1997.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at