In October 2008, Food Network star Sunny Anderson came to the Sixth Annual Clay County Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival to film the event and the community for a show initially titled "Festivals, Boardwalks and Fairs."
Since then, the name of the show has changed to Sunny's Summer Eats, which is set to air at 9 p.m. EST, Saturday, repeat at midnight and re-air at 10 p.m. EST, Friday, July 17, on the Food Network.
"This is the second time the Popcorn Festival will be featured on the Food Network, and it has also been on PBS," Popcorn Festival Board Publicity and Marketing Director Glen Brown told The Brazil Times. "Not only does it highlight the festival, but Orville Redenbacher, who was a Brazil native, and the community as well."
The premise of "Sunny's Summer Eats" is highlighting some of the United States' more unique fairs and festivals, along with the varied spectrum of food offered.
"We travel to some of the other festivals in the Midwest to see what other places are doing and try to bring some of the different aspects back here," Brown said. "This show should be featuring some of the unique food we offer that people enjoy."
Heading into the seventh year of the Popcorn Festival, Brown said the event continues to grow and garner more community support.
"We get more volunteers each year and we couldn't do it without all the people on board," he said. "We also get a lot of community support, especially from local businesses, plus ConAgra Foods, who is the main benefactor of the festival, has been so complimentary to our efforts."
Brown added the festival has received great feedback from the previous times it has been on television and positive comments about the community.
"We hope the community continues to get together, see the show and want to volunteer," he said. "We always try to not duplicate the vendors so there are is a variety of food that people can try and enjoy. While we weren't able to highlight all the vendors while Sunny was here, we are very happy to be featured by the Food Network again."
While the Seventh Annual Clay County Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival is still a few months away, Brown hopes the national exposure will help make the festival an even bigger event for the community to attend.
"New this year, we are offering memberships, which is something that wasn't done in the past," he said. "Food seems to have a tendency to make people feel good."
Brown added vendor space is still open for this year's festival, which is set to begin 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2, and run through Oct. 4. The carnival, which will again be provided by Luehr's Ideal Rides, will begin Thursday, Oct. 1.
To inquire about aspects of the Seventh Annual Clay County Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival, call 448-2307. For more information about vendor spaces, call 448-2137 or 448-2245.
The Popcorn Festival Board will meet at 6 p.m., Monday, at the popcorn house in Forest Park. The public is welcome to attend.