It may take an hour to roast an ear of corn to perfection, but Blake Peterson measures the time by the old homecoming festivals in the township.
Peterson, a trustee who also helps to head up the annual Corn Roast, said the event brings back memories of his childhood, when there used to be a homecoming every third weekend in August.
The corn roast, now in its 13th year, aims to bring some of that back and also raise funds for community events and scholarships.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
Kevin Peterson steams corn Saturday at the annual Corn Roast in Mecca.
''All we're doing is giving (children) memories,'' Peterson said.
He said 75 to 80 dozen ears of corn were purchased for the roast this year from Lutz Farm in Lordstown. He chuckled when asked what he does with any that are left over.
''There's no leftovers,'' he said.
Peterson said the formula is simple. The corn is put over a flame, 15 minutes for each side, or about a half hour total. It is then put in insulated boxes to keep warm for about another half hour before it is dipped in a crock full of butter to be served.
''It's good and tender,'' Peterson said.
Gabriel Gladd agreed, saying Saturday's corn was excellent.
''It's on fire,'' he said.
His father, Tim Gladd, owns the farm next to the park where the roast was held and said the event reminds him of his own childhood. He said he likes the idea of continuing the tradition with a corn roast.
''This is great. We have our own niche,'' Gladd said. ''It's our identity, I guess. Farm community. Corn.''
Barbara Fileger also said she was enjoying the corn.
''The corn is awesome.''
The secret, she said, is simple.
''They dump the whole ear in butter,'' she said while laughing.
The event is a good thing because it brings people together, Fileger said.
''It's a community,'' Fileger said.