The Valparaiso Popcorn Festival and Parade is coming back for its 40th year! September 8th marks the big day and promises to bring a day of fun and excitement to all who attend. Keep in mind, this festival brings families and visitors from all over, making it an exceptional experience for all involved.
Attendees can expect plenty of popcorn themed fun, a parade flyover with an F4U-7 Corsair and a 1945 Grumman TBM Avenger, and plenty of craft booths! Plus, the Ultimate Poppin’ Play Zone is coming back along with 35 food booths and two live music stages! This is a year you certainly won’t want to miss!
As usual, the days leading up to Popcorn Festival are filled with lunches, dinners, and activities to build excitement!
- Lunch catered by Semento’s Napoli Cafe
- Dinner catered by Hilltop Neighborhood House/Duffy’s Place
- Hot Wheels “Race of Champions” Registration-5pm; Race-6pm
- Cutest Baby Finals – 6:30pm
- Lunch catered by Pesto’s Italian Restaurant
- Dinner catered by Valparaiso Band Parents Association
- Live Music by VHS Varsity Singers and VHS Concert Band
- Lunch catered by Scooter’s BBQ
- Dinner catered by Valparaiso Kiwanis Club
- Lunch catered by Kelsey’s Steak House
- Dinner catered by NWI School Nutrition Association
Festival Day: September 8th Check out the Festival Map Here!
- Vendor Booths open at 7am and stay open until 6:30pm. Make sure to check out some of your favorite local businesses while they’re all in one place!
- Ultimate Poppin’ Play Zone opens at 7am and closes at 6:30pm. Be sure to get the kids over to run out some energy, check out the obstacle course, bungee, and inflatable challenges! Sponsored by: Indiana University Northwest
- Popcorn Panic: The 5-mile run and 5K run/ walk is hosted by Valpo parks and begins at Central Park Plaza at 7:30am! Get a good run in, then spend the rest of your day enjoying the festival! Register here!
- Lit’l Kernel Puff Race: Don’t forget to get the kiddos involved! This race, hosted by Valpo Parks, offers age appropriate races for the kids and gives them a chance to run out some energy before the parade!
- Chicagoland Popcorn Parade: The parade begins at 10am and showcases charity organizations, emergency services, high school marching bands and cheerleaders, dance groups, and more! The parade will make its way down Morgan Boulevard onto Lincolnway, giving everyone the chance to see some excellent acts! If you’re marching in the parade, look for the ValpoLife photographer up in the Steindler Signs Bucket Truck! Plan something fun for your popcorn photo! If you can’t make it out to the parade, you can watch it live here!
Here’s some important info for those in the parade:
- Alphabetical Parade Lineup
- Numerical Parade Lineup
- Parade Lineup Street Map
- Regal Parking Lot Lineup
Beer Garden: Opens at 11am at Central Park Plaza! Proceeds benefit Valparaiso Events and the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club!
Chicagoland Popcorn Area: Opens at 11am at the William E. Urschel Pavilion and will have food and beverage options available!
- Stop.Drop.Rewind: 12:00 - 1:15pm
- Anchors: 1:30 - 2:30pm
- S. Joel Norman: 3:00 - 4:30pm
- Soul Asylum: 5:00 - 6:30pm
Sponsored by: NIPSCO, Miller Lite, Duffy’s Place, Orville Redenbacher, NITCO, Muller Acura, Porter County Republicans, Meijer
Michigan Street Music Stage:
- Garage Bands from Front Porch: 12:00 - 12:50pm
- Smoking Suits: 3:00 - 3:50pm
- Cognitive Blue: 4:00 - 4:50 pm
- Johnny James: 5:00 - 6:00pm
Shuttle Information: 7am - 6:30pm (Roundtrip) Adults: $4.00/Children: $2.00/Max: $9.00
Directions to Shuttle Areas (Handicap Accessible)
SOUTH Popcorn Shuttle Area - From the West, take I-80/90 or I-94 E to I-65 S to US 30 E approximately 10 miles to Hayes Leonard School.
NEW! NORTH Popcorn Shuttle Area/Family Express Lot - From the East, take I-80/ or I-94 W. to St. Rd. 49 S. Exit right and use roundabouts to stay on Vale Park Road (400N). Follow signs Parking Garage Information Porter County Administration Building Parking Garage - $10 per vehicle.
Handicap Parking Information
From US 30 to St. Rd.2, turn north (Washington St.) Proceed to barricade and turn East (South St.) Go over tracks to stop sign at Franklin St. Continue north on Franklin St. to Monroe St. Parking at Bartholomew Funeral Home (must have proper ID).
Valparaiso Pathways Committee will host FREE & non-supervised bicycle parking from 6:00 am – 4:00 pm the day of the festival at Trinity Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Washington & Chicago Streets. Bring your own lock.