"This has been the best year ever," Popcorn Festival Board President Evelyn Brown said about the sixth year of the festival. "We couldn't have asked for anything more out of it."
The main attraction of this year's festival was the presence of the Food Network Saturday as Sunny Anderson and her crew were filming scenes for "Festivals, Boardwalks and Fairs," which is expected to air sometime in the summer of 2009.
The festival was the only event chosen for the network show not located on the East Coast. The other events to be included in the show are the Atlantic City Boardwalk (New Jersey), Walt Disney World, The Renaissance Fair in New York City, and the Buffalo Wings Festival in Buffalo.
"We are all excited and proud that our community and festival was chosen to he included in the show," Brown said. "What has made it better is that we had everything the Food Network was looking for."
Along with annual favorites like the Orville Redenbacher Look-alike contest and the Brazil Lions Club Bed Race, the festival included a few new attractions this year.
Some of the new events were a Motorcycle "Ride-in," Farmer Ron's Amazing Field Trip and a Popcorn Recipe contest, which Brown said was immensely popular.
"There were 18 entries into the recipe contest, which is amazing for the first year on an event and Farmer Ron was a great attraction for the children," she said. "It truly is great for the community to participate in new things each year."
While she added the festival will look to retain the events that were new this year, the Popcorn Festival Committee is continuing to find more unique events to add for next year.
"We are always trying to find new things to get more people involved in the festival," Brown said. "I have to give credit to the entire committee for working so hard all year long and putting together a great event."
Area residents also came out in droves to the festival, which has become a staple of Clay County as the leaves begin to turn.
"The crowds this year have been incredible," Brown said. "There were times where there were so many people that you couldn't see from one end to the other because they were packed in so tight."
Brown added the vendors were also a great hit during the four-day festival and the weather also played a huge role in this year's success.
"The weather was responsible for a lot of it because every day was so beautiful and comfortable," she said. "But even with the great weather, it is the people who make the Popcorn Festival a success and we got exactly what we were hoping for this year."