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CHILDREN OF THE CORN

It might be corny, but Jill Ann Dugan makes no apologies for being "a kid from Eden, who still loves, adores and is a fanatic about Eden and the Corn Fest."

Every year, for Dugan and thousands of other kids, "you knew endless possibilities could occur at the Corn Fest," says Dugan. "I felt like every year a city was coming to Eden. There was the fascination of the carnival people and the shows, and my first performance was at the Corn Fest in the synchronized swimming show, so that was a big moment for me as a performer. It was a time for magic."

Dugan, who now lives and works as an actor in New York City, will be returning to Eden with her cabaret show "Exit 57A: Turn here for the Eden Corn Festival" at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Newell Faulkner American Legion Post 880 American Legion on Legion Drive off Route 62.

The show caused quite a sensation at last year's 40th Eden Corn Festival, and Dugan and her nephew, Brad Summar, will be documenting the event on film during this year's festival, to be held Thursday through Aug. 8.

In "Exit 57A," Dugan tells stories and sings songs, accompanied by a guitarist and piano player. "There's a little bit of audience participation as well," she says, slyly dropping a hint about kazoos.

The stories "are all based on experiences I had growing up, going up to the Corn Fest, and how I feel that influenced me. Everywhere I've ever been, people are fully aware that I was born and raised in Eden, my whole family still lives there, and every year I will be at the Corn Festival and I'm fully expecting them to come and join me."

Tickets are $10 at the door, snacks will be provided on the tables, and there's a cash bar. To order tickets in advance, or reserve a table for a group, call 337-0289.

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