The 2022 Popcorn Kickoff Concert started off the 43rd annual Popcorn Festival with a bang on Thursday, September 8. Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, rocked the night away and brought forth fiery energy that had everyone singing at the tops of their lungs. The event was fun for everyone, whether they spent the night partying in front of the stage or enjoyed a few casual drinks with their family and friends.
People from all over the Region came to celebrate the start of this year’s Popcorn Festival. One attendee, Michele Gustin, lives in Chesterton, but she always comes down to Valparaiso to enjoy the live music. The band lineup for this year’s Popcorn Festival is something she doesn’t want to miss.
“I love music, especially live music, and they have some fantastic bands here, and of course, everyone loves the Popcorn Fest. I want to be here and support Popcorn Fest,” said Gustin.
For many people, the Kickoff Concert was more than just a kickoff concert—it was an opportunity for different community organizations to bring their members together and make some memories with one another. Valparaiso Midlife Connection, a local community group for midlife singles who are looking to connect with people, had many members come out and join in the festivities together. They sat around a small table laughing, drinking, and playing cards while listening to the fantastic concert. Kathy Mangel, the organizer of Valparaiso Midlife Connection, was grateful for the opportunity to bring her group together for a night of fun.
“These concerts are phenomenal and it’s a great way for everybody to get together,” said Mangel.
For many people like Mangel, the Popcorn Festival events hold a special place in their hearts. Many people can hardly remember a time without the Popcorn Festival, and each year it brings back waves of nostalgia.
“Popcorn Fest is huge with my family. I’ve been coming to the Popcorn Fest for 40 years, so I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to the upcoming event,” said Mangel.
Everybody left the Kickoff Concert with smiles on their faces and countless new memories in their hearts. The event was a fantastic way to kick off and celebrate another year of an even more fantastic festival.
As if the concert wasn’t enough to build excitement for the upcoming Popcorn Fest, the Hot Wheels Race of Champions and Food Truck Rally on Friday, September 9 proved that there’s no such thing as too much fun. Parents and their kids gathered around a 65-foot race track to race their favorite Hot Wheels cars and try to win some prizes. Over 800 cars were registered for the race. Each car entry was $1, and all of the money that was raised will be donated to local charities. The event was a great opportunity for parents to keep their children entertained. Kids watched in awe as car after car raced down the track, while parents got to sit back, enjoy a few drinks, and eat some delicious food. When the kids weren’t watching the Hot Wheels races they were outside playing in the Splash Pad and throwing frisbees around.
To learn more about Valparaiso Events and its 43rd annual Popcorn Festival, visit https://www.valparaisoevents.com/.