- The Popcorn Festival committee will meet at 6 p.m., Sept. 21 and 28 at the Popcorn House shelter at Forest Park, or at City Hall in case of rain. Everyone is welcome to attend.
- This year's festival will be Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Forest Park.
Watch The Brazil Times for more information.
By GLEN BROWN
For The Times
What's better than free popcorn this year? How about giving away popped corn donated by ConAgra Snack Foods Division that owns the Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn franchise. It's true.
Board president Evelyn Brown stated, "They have been wonderful, very supportive, and generous in the past to our Festival but has been more involved than ever this year. It's a great partnership. They have become a part of our Festival because of its wholesomeness and our recognition of Clay County native Orville Redenbacher himself."
ConAgra Snack Foods this year will be represented by the advertising firm of Ketchum Inc. which handles the marketing and promotion aspects of the Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn division. They will be giving away many free items this year in a specialized tent. Now, imagine also that Ketchum Inc. has donated 24,000 packages of a new brand of popcorn to be used by the Festival to promote ConAgra as well as the Festival.
"It's beyond what we dreamed," said Vice-president Janice Cox, "-- and how we will use this incredible donated gift is still being decided by the Festival members but whatever it is, we hope to tell before the Festival begins."
There is more. Ketchum plans to give away a popping machine also and other items.
This year the Festival is expected to bring in more people than last year due to the Food Network's "Supermarket Sensations" program as well as advertising at the State Fair, state brochures, and festival magazines. The Food Network show seemed to have propagated a lot of newspaper articles as well as calls inquiring about our Festival and when it will be held this year. Also, we have the one and only Orville Redenbacher look-alike contest in the world on Friday night.
Some of the favorites returning this year will be the laser light show, fireworks, Colts In Motion museum, and the Beatles tribute band on Sunday. Also, the Festival will feature the same amusement rides as last year that was received by patrons as very family-friendly and kid-oriented.
Local businesses are sponsoring free demonstrations such as soap-making, soy-thread weaving by Peg Taylor, wire-bending by Barbara Alberts, and Urimusic pottery by Curt Buethe will be on display near the historical cabins. We are also glad to welcome back the dance studios, organized by Dana Daub, which put on a great show each year.
We are excited and proud to show off our first Popcorn Festival Queen, Heather Palmer who will not only appear at the Festival but will participate in the Indiana State Festival Association Pageant in November. Also, the Popcorn Festival Pageant's first runner-up, Melissa Medearis; and second runner-up Callie Froderman will be making appearances at the Festival as well. All three won scholarships in April of this year.
Something new this year will be a Redenbacher Museum that will highlight all the photos, films, and items donated to the Festival by the Redenbacher family. The museum will be set in the Snack Shop located between the band shell and the pavilion. The museum will highlight bowties, neckties, and Orville's first jar of Gourmet Popping Corn that he introduced at Marshal-Fields department store in Chicago. Along with photos, we will have showings of Redenbacher's commercials, interviews with late-night hosts like David Letterman, and his debut on the hit television show "Hee Haw" playing a tuba with Buck Owens and Roy Clark. The individual Beta and VHS tapes had to be placed on DVD and this challenge was done by the kindness and expertise of Larry Pierce who owns and operates Video Specialists in Brazil.
We are pleased to bring in a new event called Custer's Flying K9s! that shows off an array of canines trained in professional disc dog shows. This show comes to our county from Milford, Ohio, and it will feature a dog named Six who was adopted from our own Clay County Humane Shelter. That is worth seeing. Six was the 2005 National Finalist in Disc Catching Events.
This year, the Festival introduces chainsaw artist Dayle Lewis of Chainsaw Sculpture Gallery of Richmond, Ind.. The Festival is pleased to begin our relationship with this Indiana group and we hope to continue this event in years to come. His works are very detailed and will delight the eyes. There will be an auction of his works during the Festival at times to be designated later.
Other new artists this year include Glass Art/Sculptures by John Gettinger, Titzer Art Studios, Blue Skies Art Studio Surreal Artworks, and Shirley Kennedy Beadwork Art. In addition, local artists Dave Snyder, John Rodgers, and Brad Rodgers will be here to feature their unique talents and artwork.
And, who can forget the Oktoberfest celebration and Bier Garten at the American Legion Post 2. It's a unique celebration of our German roots with authentic German food, music, and costumes.
So you may ask, "What else will be happening at the Festival?" Besides free popcorn and free give-aways, we will have food vendors, craft vendors, non-craft, and promotional vendors. We also will have a rock climb wall sponsored by the National Guard this year and should be fun for all age groups. We will have other surprises coming up as contracts are finalized this week for more entertainment, events, and vendors. Please check our web site www.popcornfest.net for updates starting this weekend.
We invite you to come and participate as a patron or as a volunteer.
If you wish to volunteer please contact Evelyn Brown at 448.2307 or Vice President Janice Cox at 446-5283. We are always in need of more volunteers.
Glen Brown is in charge of marketing for the Popcorn festival of Clay County.