Van Buren Popcorn Festival

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The annual Van Buren Popcorn Festival is held each August (it is usually the 1st or 2nd full Thurs, Fri and Sat of August) in Van Buren, Indiana in celebration of the central role of popcorn in the town's identity. As with many small town festivals, Van Buren's focuses on a theme that has meaning to the community. First held in 1973 (the 2006 celebration was the 34th Annual Festival), the Popcorn Festival has become a homecoming event to many "expatriate" residents of this small community. Enthusiastic festival goers find a blend of small town charm, yet a summer festival that is big enough to be interesting year after year.

The schedule varies each year but common themes include:

Thursday --

  • evening: Boy Scouts Popcorn tent opens, serving popped popcorn; centerpiece of the town "midway" of fair booths and kiddie rides
  • evening: many food and craft booths
  • 6:30 p.m. Parade
    • hundreds of units participate, including area school bands, civic clubs, first responder volunteers and so forth
    • a frequent highlight of the parade is antique cars and antique tractors
    • the 50-year reunion class of the Van Buren High School rides a float in parade each year
  • late evening: entertainment on the stage

Friday --

  • afternoon and evening: Boy Scouts popcorn tent opens
  • afternoon and evening: food and crafts vendors
  • late afternoon: children's bicycle parade
  • early evening: pet parade
  • evening until late: open-air concert downtown

Saturday --

  • early morning: volunteer fire department pancake & sausage breakfast
  • early morning: "Fun Run" and 5K "Kernel Classic" run
  • all day: civic and festival events
    • Free Cholesterol Testing
    • food and craft vendors
    • Fincannon Memorial Car and Motorcycle Show
  • Cornhole Tournament
  • afternoon: Boy Scouts Popcorn Tent
  • afternoon: Children’s Biblical Festival at the United Methodist Church Annex
  • late afternoon: Baby Parade
  • evening until late: open-air concert downtown

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