BEST CORN ON THE COB Miami 2004 - Miami Springs River Festival
Every April for the past two decades Miami Springs, our own version of Mayberry, has celebrated the river that runs through it with a street party that fills the famous circle in the northeast corner of town -- where most of the businesses are -- and extends out along the streets and into the large green space in the middle of the circle. Family-oriented to the extreme, the kiosks feature the usual arts and crafts and souvenirs as well as more unusual items (the African statues booth is always fascinating). There's a river cleanup, a fishing contest, canoe races, and plenty of live music. Food seems to dominate, and the highlight is a large chickee-type booth where several of the town's venerable citizens roast corn. For the most part, corn is corn, but to roast it perfectly requires know-how, which is why the same guys, each year a bit more gray, swelter over the open fire and, with gloved hands, find a good cob, rip open the husk, put a stick in it, and provide what just might be the perfect corn. Sweet, plump, smoky, juicy ... the best.