2016 Valparaiso Popcorn Festival Guide

2016 Valparaiso Popcorn Festival Guide

For one day each year, the city of Valparaiso basically shuts down in the name of "popcorn". This year will be no different as the 38th Annual Popcorn Festival is making its way to town on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

The Popcorn Festival is one of the largest festivals Northwest Indiana and brings in locals and tourists alike from all over to see the best offerings of downtown Valparaiso. So much takes place leading up to and on the day of the festival, and hundreds of people roll up their sleeves to make this event a success.

Pre-Week Activities in Central Park Plaza

Tuesday, September 6:
Lunch: Catered by Semento's Napoli Cafe (11am-1pm)
Dinner: Catered by Hilltop Neighborhood House (4:30-7pm)
Entertainment: Hotwheels Race of Champions. Registration at 5pm, race at 6pm.

Wednesday, September 7:
Lunch: Catered by Pesto's Italian Restaurant (11am-1pm)
Dinner: Catered by Valparaiso Band Parents (5-7pm)
Entertainment: Valparaiso Vikettes - 6pm | Cutest Baby Finals, Sponsored by Cavanaugh & Nondorf - 6:30pm

Thursday, September 8:
7th Annual Rotary Popcorn Open Golf Outing  12:00 pm Shotgun Start at the Course at Aberdeen Lunch: Catered by The Market (11am-1pm)
Dinner: Catered by Valparaiso Kiwanis Club (4:30-6:30pm)

Friday, September 9
Lunch: Catered by Kelsey's Steakhouse (11am-1pm)
Dinner: Catered by NWI School Nutrition Association (5-7pm)
Entertainment: VHS Band and Varsity Singers - 6pm

As always, there is more to the Popcorn Festival than the festival itself, there are activities and events building up to the festival. We figured it would be best to put that all right here for you, in a handy 2016 Popcorn Festival Guide.

So here’s what’s happening during the Popcorn Fest:

  • Vendor Booths open at 7am and stay open all day until 6:30pm. Get your shot at shopping at local businesses all on one place.
  • Kid’s Poppin Play Place opens at 7am - 6:30pm. There will be games, inflatables, and more for the wee ones.
  • Popcorn Panic: 5-mile run and 5K walk throughout Valpo. Race begins at 7:30am at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valpo. Start the morning with a run then spend the rest of the day at the festival. Register here.
  • Lit’l Kernel Puff Race: The wee ones can get in on the running, too! Let them burn off some energy before the parade starts. Register here. 


ChicagoLand Popcorn Parade
The parade begins at 10am. Marching bands, theatre groups, fire trucks police cars with sirens and lights ablaze, gymnasts, martial artists, and more will make their way down Morgan Blvd. and Lincolnway much to the delight of spectators. The parade is one of many highlights of the festival. For those in the parade, here's some important and useful information.

If you are marching, look for a ValpoLife.com photographer shooting once again from the Steindler Signs bucket truck! Plan something fun for your organization's Popcorn Photo!

The Music! 
popcorn-fest-2016-posterSouth Shore CVA Main Stage

Where: Porter Health Amphitheater at Central Park Plaza

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MuddSharks
  • 1:15 pm – 2:25 pm Planetary Blues Band
  • 2:40 pm – 3:30 pm Digital Hair
  • 3:40 pm – 4:30 pm The Crawpuppies
  • 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Matthew Sweet

Sponsored by: South Shore CVA, NIPSCO, Miller Lite, Duffy’s Place, Orville Redenbacher, NITCO, Muller Acura, Porter County Republicans, Town & Country Market/Strack & Van Til

Front Porch Main Stage
Where: Corner of Lincolnway and Michigan Street

  • 12:00 – 6:30 pm This stage features students from the Garage Band 101 Course at Front Porch Music and Local Musicians.

Everything closes up shop at 6:30pm so you have plenty of time to see and experience everything that the city of Valparaiso has to offer in its finest festival.

popcorn-fest-brian-shawThat's it as far as the "official" Popcorn Festival, though anyone who has been to Popcorn Fest knows the party continues! More events happening:

Handicapped Parking at Bartholomew Funeral Home
Did you know Bartholomew Funeral Home is home to free handicapped parking for Popcorn Festival? Mike Neward works with the Porter County Sheriff Department to ensure that one people in need use the lot. Bartholomew Funeral Home is located at 102 Monroe St, Valparaiso, IN 46383. Click here for directions.

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 E 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 St. Rd. 49 S. Exit right and use roundabouts 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 St. Rd.2, turn north (Washington St.) 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).

Bicycle Parking
Valparaiso Pathways Committee will host FREE & non-supervised bicycle parking from 6:00 am – 4:00 pm the day of the festival at Trinity Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Washington & Chicago Streets. Bring your own lock.

What'd we miss? Send us an email at share@valpolife.com or leave a comment with more Popcorn Fun!

For previous photos we've taken at Popcorn Festivals dating back to 2009, click here! 

For more information or questions, visit www.valpoevents.com