Continuing our theme of Summer and Autumn Festivals, why not consider a visit to the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival on Saturday, 6 September 2008.

Valparaiso claims the title of “Popcorn Capital of USA”, although another six cities contest this claim. The city is in Porter County, Indiana. Its site was included in the purchase of land from the Potawatomi Indians in 1832 and was originally known as Porterville.

Native Americans enjoyed “popping corn” hundreds of years ago. Today America consumes 1.5 billion lbs of popcorn yearly.

The Valparaiso Festival has for its theme “30 years of Popcorn and Memories.” It began in 1979 and for the last 12 years has been named as “The Best Festival in the Region.”

Since the first festival in 1979, Valparaiso has continued to honour the man who became America’s Popcorn King. Orville Redenbacher was born in Brazil, Indiana and from an early age was obsessed with developing the perfect popcorn. He died in 1995 at the age of 88 and his brand of popping corn continues to be among the most popular in the United States.

The festival is located in beautiful downtown Valparaiso from 7.00am to 6.30pm on Saturday, 6 September 2008. It offers family fun activities for all ages. It has over 500 food and craft booths, children’s games and rides and live entertainment. For the athletic ones there is a 5-mile run (Popcorn Panic) and a 5KM walk for those not so fit.

The highlight is the unique Popcorn Parade which was attended by Orville Redenbacher until his death in 1995.

Other activities are the spectacular Hot Air Balloon launches at Porter County Expo on the Friday and Saturday, 5-6 September 2008. Following the launch, entertainers will keep the feet tapping while you await the return of the balloons.

Popcorn lover or not, this is another fun festival for all the family.

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