Van Buren Popcorn Festival History
The Beginning - 1973:
We wonder if the original organizers of the Popcorn Festival had any idea the festival would go on for so many years. The practice of putting lawn chairs in particular spots on the library lawn every year goes on with the first chairs showing up on Saturday before the festival starts on Thursday. The huge parade, the Nation's first Popcorn Parade, and the huge crowd it draws starts the Popcorn Festival off with a bang as it has since 1973. Then the festival royalty are crowned.
The free entertainment, sponsored by local businesses, rounds out the first evening of the Popcorn Festival. There are booths sponsored by local organizations and by other vendors. Friday night there is more entertainment (once again free). On Saturday, the children’s events give the kids something to do. But there is always something happening during these 3 days. And the food-from tenderloins, to Bar-BQ sandwiches, to chicken & noodles, to popcorn, to all other kinds of festival foods. You can find them at the Popcorn Festival.
The tradition that began in 1973 continues each year in August. People from Indiana and other states make summer plans scheduled around the Popcorn Festival. School class reunions are planned around the festival dates. On Saturday evening at the festival, the crowds enjoy one more night of music and entertainment, one more favorite food, and one more chance to meet a friend they have not seen for a long time. The festival planners, feel “we did it again, “ it is almost over” and “all the work was worth it“. The committee meets again in October to evaluate the festival just passed.
So if you have never been to the Van Buren Popcorn Festival, plan to attend this year. You will find an affordable festival with lots of free events, all kinds of food, and maybe a friend from days gone by. Hope to see you here.