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Over 70,000 Expected at 45th Corn Festival in La Habra


LA HABRA — More than 70,000 people are expected to attend the 45th annual Corn Festival at El Centro Park this year.

The event, which has become a family tradition for many residents, will be this weekend and will feature a two-hour parade on Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The parade, themed "Through the Eyes of Our Forefathers," highlights the three-day festival with marching bands, drill teams and floats. The grand marshal is Iron Eyes Cody. Cody, a 77-year-old Cherokee Indian who appeared in numerous Western films, is famous for shedding a tear over the destruction of the environment in "Keep America Beautiful" television commercials.

The parade will travel one mile east on La Habra Boulevard from Idaho Street to Cypress Street. Some businesses along the route will be closed as will the La Habra Branch of the Orange County Library.

Because a portion of La Habra Boulevard will be closed to traffic during the parade, access to the library will be cut off. Library officials suggest that people who check out books at the La Habra branch go to the Brea Branch in the Brea Civic Cultural Center at Birch Street and Randolph Avenue.

The aroma of thousands of freshly cooked ears of corn will fill the air during the festival, which is sponsored by the La Habra Host Lions Club.

Nonprofit organizations and clubs will offer corn and other food, rides and game booths at El Centro Park beginning Friday night. All the money raised will benefit charities, festival organizers said.

The philanthropy is the reason for the Corn Festival, which was put on by the Lions Club for the first time on Aug. 6, 1949, said Chuck Overbey, who is in charge of the event.

The Country Store Band, the Vell Tones and the Buffalo Brewing Company will sing at the festival.

In preparation for the festivities, volunteers are being sought to cover graffiti at El Centro Park and on businesses and homes along the parade route so visitors will see a "pretty La Habra," city officials said.

Volunteers are being asked to meet at 7 a.m. at the Senior Center, 165 E. La Habra Blvd., to pick up paintbrushes and paint and begin the cleanup effort.

"We want to put on a good show," said Kay Jacklin, supervisor of community services for the city.

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