Get ready, the highly anticipated Popcorn Festival is coming up on September 9th! Whether you’re excited for the races, the parade, or the music throughout the day, it’s sure to be a great time. The 39th year promises to be bigger and better than ever before as Valparaiso and people from all over come to celebrate!
Attendees can expect all the usual popcorn themed fun, with over 250 arts and craft booths located throughout downtown Valparaiso, music at two separate stages, and of course, the 35 food booths. Plus, there’s the Ultimate Poppin’ Play Zone set up for the kids! It’s an event sure to keep everyone entertained.
Located in the Chicagoland Popcorn Area under the William E. Urschel Pavilion at Central Park Plaza.
Tuesday, September 5
Lunch: Catered by Semento’s Napoli Café (11:00am - 1:00pm)
Dinner: Catered by Hilltop Neighborhood House/ Duffy’s Place with inflatable slide and face painting (4:30pm - 7:00pm)
Entertainment: Hot Wheels Race of Champions. Registration at 5pm, race at 6pm.
Cutest Baby Finals at 6:30pm
Wednesday, September 6
Lunch: Catered by Pesto’s Italian Restaurant (11:00am - 1:00pm)
Dinner: Catered by Valparaiso Band Parents Association (5:00pm - 7:00pm)
Entertainment: Break the Atmosphere featuring VHS Band Members (5:00pm - 7:00pm)
Thursday, September 7
8th Annual Rotary Popcorn Open Golf Outing 12:00 pm Shotgun Start at the Valparaiso County Club
Lunch: Catered by Scooters BBQ (11:00am - 1:00pm)
Dinner: Catered by the Valparaiso Kiwanis Club (4:30pm - 6:30pm)
Friday, September 8
Lunch: Catered by Kelsey’s Steak House (11:00am - 1:00pm)
Dinner: Catered by NWI School Nutrition Association Chapter 25 (5:00 pm - 7:00pm)
Entertainment: VHS Varsity Singers and VHS Concert Band (5:00 pm - 7:00pm)
As always, there are events leading up to festival day. Be sure to check out the lunches, dinners, and activities provided before the big day!
Festival Day: Saturday, September 9
Check out the festival map here!
- Vendor Booths open at 7:00am and stay open all day until 6:30pm. Make sure to check out some of your favorite local businesses while they’re all in one place!
- Ultimate Poppin’ Play Zone opens at 7:00am and closes at 6:30pm. Be sure to get the kids over to run their energy out on the obstacle course, bungee, and inflatable challenges. Sponsored by Indiana University Northwest.
- Popcorn Panic: The 5-mile run and 5K walk begins at 7:30am at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valpo. Get a good run in, then spend the rest of your day at the festival. Register here.
- Lit’l Kernel Puff Race: Don’t forget to let the kids get involved in the run! Age appropriate races let them burn off some energy before the parade.
Chicagoland Popcorn Parade The parade begins at 10am with a variety of floats and businesses for spectators to enjoy. Fire trucks, police cars, gymnasts, marching bands, martial artists, and more will follow each other down Morgan Blvd and onto Lincolnway. The parade highly anticipated every year! Here is some important information for those in the parade.
If you’re marching, look for a ValpoLife.com photographer up in the Steindler Signs bucket truck! Plan something fun for your popcorn photo!
Beer Garden: Opens at 11am in Central Park Plaza. Proceeds benefit Valparaiso Events and the Kiwanis Club.
Chicagoland Popcorn Area: Opens at 11am under the William E. Urschel Pavilion with food and beverages offered by Ben’s Pretzels, Pikks Tavern, Duffy’s Place, and Martini’s.
- 12:15pm – 1:15pm: The Code Names
- 1:30pm – 2:50pm: The War on Peace
- 3:15pm – 4:30pm: The Bihlman Brothers
- 5:00pm – 6:30pm: BoDeans
Sponsored by: NIPSCO, Miller Lite, Duffy’s Place, Orville Redenbacher, NITCO, Muller Acura, Porter County Republicans, Town & Country Market/ Strack & Van Til.
Michigan Street Music Stage
- 12:00pm – 3:00pm: Garage Bands from Front Porch Music
- 3:00pm – 3:45pm: Rito
- 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Jerica Paliga
- 5:00pm – 5:45pm: Stop.Drop.Rewind
Everything officially Popcorn Fest 2017 shutters at 6:30pm, however, there are some ways to continue the party if you aren’t ready to head home at the end of the day.
Franklin House: Their Afterparty features Upsidedown and Backwards and The Unit! Their Three Floyds Beer Garden opens at 6pm. https://franklinhousevalpo.com/
Digital Hair Popcorn Fest After Party: September 9th, 9pm http://duffysplace.com/
Transportation and parking can get stressful, so be sure to check out this list of parking and shuttle areas available!
Shuttle Information: 7am – 6:30pm
(Roundtrip) Adults: $4.00/ Children: $2:00 / Max: $9:00
Directions to Shuttle Areas (Handicap Accessible)
SOUTH Popcorn Shuttle Area:
From the West, take I-80/90 or I-94 to I-65 S to US 30 E approximately 10 miles to Hayes Leonard School.
NORTH Popcorn Shuttle Area:
From the East, take I-80 or I-94 W to SR 49 S. Exit right and use roudabouts to stay on Vale Park Road (400N). Follow signs.
Parking Garage Information
Porter County Administration Building Parking Garage - $10 per vehicle.
Handicap Parking Information
From US 30 to SR 2, turn north onto Washington Street. Proceed to barricade and turn East (South St.) Go over tracks to stop sign at Franklin St. Continue north on Franklin St to Monroe St. Parking at Bartholomew Funeral Home (must have proper ID).
Valparaiso Pathways Committee will host FREE and non-supervised bicycle parking from 6:00am to 4:00 pm the day of the festival at Trinity Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Washington and Chicago Streets. Bring your own lock.