The Popcorn Festival of Clay County received a $10,000 check from ConAgra Food, Inc., the owner of Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn. Besides the money, the corporation also gave the Festival the use of the trademark logo.
The Popcorn Festival will be held Oct. 3, 4 and 5, throughout the city and Forest Park with a turkey shoot south of Staunton. It will coincide with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast.
Committee member Rose Mary Price said, "The purpose of the Festival is to promote community unity and to highlight Orville Redenbacher who was a Clay County native from Center Point."
Local resident Ken Pickett came up with the idea a couple years ago. He and Historical President Jim Hicks applied for the $10,000 grant then. ConAgra was receptive to the plan and told Pickett to notify them when all of the official paperwork was completed.
Pickett then started working with Preservation Society members Glen and Evelyn Brown and the Popcorn Festival really began popping.
More than 20 activities are planned for the three-day celebration. They include: American Shows Carnival, Victorian Courthouse Ball, K-Day court crowning at ball, Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, K-Day Parade, Children's dance/tumbling, Tribute to Beatles live performance, Orville Redenbacher lookalike contest, Luther's Memorial Bike Contest, popcorn matinee for children, antique tractor display, Posey Twp. Fire Department turkey shoot, Alley Ball (3 on 3 basketball tourney), antique postcard show, Rock-the-Wall Climb, antique appraisal & auction, power lifting contest, quarter midget car race, worship in the park, fireworks choreographed to gospel music by Mark Hopkins and various food and souvenir vendors.
The committee is excited about the proposed annual event and hope to increase its size with more vendors and entertainment programs.