The Morden Corn and Apple Festival is back again this year and longtime Morden resident, Tammy Duncan and her high school friend Tara Ritchie have rolled up their sleeves to step into the leadership as Co-Chairs for the Morden Corn and Apple Festival Parade Committee. 

Duncan announced the great news. 

"It's the second year we're back after COVID and after last years' experience, Tara and I decided that you really need to have the Corn & Apple parade back because, to me, that was one of the highlights for every year I've been a part of the Corn & Apple. So, we stepped up and decided we needed to have our parade back and get to be #1 in Manitoba again." 

Last year, the parade didn't happen, due to a lack of volunteers, according to the Corn and Apple Festival Executive Director Tim Hodge.  This led to a lot of disappointment in the community and at the festival.  

Duncan noted this is not the first time they have worked together to serve their community. 

"We grew up together and she was the President of the Student Council, I was the social convener in grade 12. I'm like Tara can totally look after this, all I have to do is, do what she tells me to do. So, as if we can't put this one on." 

Ritchie has recently returned to Morden after living in Thompson for a number of years, where she organized some parades there. 

When told she might be considered a hero, Duncan replied. 

"I wanna to be the hero for my children, because that was what we used to do every year, even when they got older. I would get my 20-year-olds out of bed to go to the Corn & Apple parade on Saturday."  

Tammy Duncan, Carla Kolton and Tara Ritchie at the 2022 Festival Tammy Duncan, Carla Kolton and Tara Ritchie at the 2022 Corn and Apple Festival volunteering in the craft tent.

She and Ritchie are working through the manual they received from Hodge to help navigate through the steps of putting the event together. She said it's going to be a lot of work, but she has the time. she shared why she is willing to put the time in. 

"In my opinion, it's always really brought the community together and the energy and the spirit just kind of rejuvenates us. The reason why we have the Corn & Apple to start with is bonding with people from out of the community and the energy and the excitement when you see the Shriners coming down or the Khartum Cops coming down the road, or maybe even that mascot that might give you free French fries. Just the energy it brings to the community is definitely an important part for me." 

The Corn & Apple Festival is on the last weekend of August every year and reminiscing about past years, Duncan said it's always awesome to see that random person you grew up with and to connect with them at the festival.  

Memories are a deep part of her reasoning to make sure it happens as well.

"You know, it always was one thing that my family came together with, even when I was little but then my kids came around and Grandpa Al was always there along with us. And it kind of brings us back to that where my aunts, and my uncles, and my father, and the people that aren't with us today. We kind of still feel them as we're having that fun and dancing on the side of the road." 

Duncan said many groups, individuals and organizations have already indicated they are willing to take part in areas they have before, giving her the confidence to say this will be the success it has been in the past. 

You can register to volunteer to help with the parade and other events happening August 25-27, 2023, on the Morden Corn and Apple Festival website.