Community Events have always been of prime importance to the Morden and District Chamber of Commerce. It was the Chamber who first saw the potential in the idea for a community festival when it was suggested by the retail merchants in 1965. A committee was set to gauge interest and it was decided that the new event would be launched as part of Canada’s Centennial Celebrations in 1967.
The first festival was held over two days on two blocks along Stephen Street. Merchants encouraged their staff to dress in centennial costumes and there was a parade featuring local organizations. The Miss Corn & Apple pageant was held in the parking lot of the Town of Morden and Rural Municipality of Stanley offices at the corner of Nelson Street and Stephen Street and about 200 cobs of corn were given away along with apple cider.
In 1983 the Chamber hired a summer student to help administer the Festival and with the help of annual employment grants was able to provide an incredible work experience to many young Morden residents ever since.
In 2010 the Morden Corn & Apple Festival entered a new era by taking responsibility for its own administration. The Board of Directors contracted with former Chamber of Commerce Manager to administer the Festival Board of Directors capital programs as well as the Festival Committee operations.
A Conscious Effort
The Festival conducted an Economic Impact Assessment to determine the actual value of the Festival to the community and the surrounding area and in the future the Board intends to work on strategies to improve traffic flow, parking, crowd movement, etc (Click the link to view the report). This is just the start of many new ideas and opportunities of which the Board is now better placed to take advantage.
A New Home
In 2012 the administration settled into the current office at 200 – 379 Stephen St, on the corner of Stephen Street and Nelson Street. If you are looking for the office during the Morden Corn & Apple Festival, we are right beside the Free Corn area.