The Popcorn Festival, which will take place at Forest Park on Oct. 4-7, will be presenting two new contests this year.
The festival will include the Baby Boomer Contest and a Popcorn Eating Contest -- a first at Forest Park -- along with two traditional contests, the Lion's Club Bed Race and the Orville Redenbacher Look-A-Like Contest.
Since Shaw Chiropractic came on board after last year's festival to take over the Popcorn Eating Contest, they have spent hours on developing the rules so that it includes all adults, 18 years and older, and children in various age groups, from 5-17 years.
In addition, the anticipation from the festival board was one excitement that doctors Michael and Julie Shaw came up with a way to do this for all age groups with emphasis on the safety of children in mind. Popped popcorn without the hulls will be used for the younger children.
The contest will consist of heats with randomly selected groups of people. The shortest time of all the heats is displayed until it has been beaten. When the whistle blows, each contestant must eat one piece at a time from his or her pre-measured amount of popped popcorn. Once the contestant has eaten his/her share, they will stand up to show that the popcorn has been completely eaten.
The person with the best time of all the heats will be the winner. Each contestant has five minutes to completely eat the container of popped corn.
Each piece that falls on the table and/or the ground will have one second counted off the time that it took to eat the container of popcorn. Those entered into the contest can pick up the pieces and eat them in order to avoid having seconds taken off their time.
In case of a tie, an eat-off may be done to determine the winner. The money prizes are $50 for age groups 5-8 years, 9-12 years, 13-17 years. The adult group (ages 18 and older) will be awarded $200.
The contest will be in the Pavilion starting with children at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, and the adult contest will follow. Each contestant must complete an entry form and present it at least 15 minutes prior to the event. Judges will read the rules and have all final rulings.
The other new contest came from Steve and Susan Lamb, who came up with an event that is open to all baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964.
The contest innovators want everyone to dress in vintage clothing of that era, pick up the habits of the past and flaunt your stuff.
Judges will select a King and Queen from contestants participating in the affair to take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Pavilion. Much fun is anticipated and all entrants will be awarded with a certificate and the top winner from each category (male and female) will be crowned.
Along with period apparel, those joining in will also have to compete in a hula-hoop and bubble gum blowing contest. Between the contests, baby boomer era music will be played and both young and old alike are invited onstage to show off their talents.
This event is sponsored by WAXI-104.9 FM radio and they will be on-hand to urge us on with music from those time periods.
The "Oldies Station" will also be supplying a disc jockey, various prizes and T-shirts.
The festival will also include the Orville Redenbacher Look-A-Like contest, whose prize money is given by Moore Funeral and Cremation Services; and the Bed Race, sponsored by the Brazil Lion's Club. Both are staples for the festival and have brought in lots of fans and supporters.
The Look-A-Like Contest prize money has been given by Foundation sponsors Rob and Vaneta Moore since the inception of the festival. Each year has brought in some of the youngest to the oldest contestants to compete with the looks of Redenbacher. The judges for this contest usually include Gail Redenbacher Tuminello (daughter) and other family members of the Redenbacher family.
This contest is open to all age groups. The festival wants to challenge those school or community organizations who wish to receive a $500 cash prize by participating to help make money for their organization.
The event requires an entry form prior and it will take place at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5.
The Lion's Club Bed Race will take place in front of the pool house in Forest Park. The contest involves having heats of two beds manned by five people each. Each five-man team, four people manning each corner of the bed with one person lying on the bed, must win the heat to move forward.
The contest is a double-elimination race where the winner and loser compete for the trophy prizes. This year, the Lion's Club will be offering a raffle and also additional prizes to the winners and losers.
Each bed may be sponsored by a business or organization wearing colorful shirts or attire with their business logos or their organization names. The hospital beds used in the race are donated by Lynn's Pharmacy.
Themes for each race team and unique racing team names are always welcome by the festival. The contest will take place at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6.