Valparaiso Events

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Your Guide to the 2015 Popcorn Festival Pre-Week


Our biggest party of the year is right around the corner, and we want you all to be a part of it! The Valparaiso Popcorn Festival takes place Saturday, September 12. Now in its 37th year, things are bigger and better than ever!

But the fun isn’t just limited to Saturday. We have plenty of events lined up the week leading up to the big day. From lunch and dinner specials to recreational activities and more, the Popcorn Festival Pre-Week has something for everybody as we countdown the days until the Festival.


Chicagoland Popcorn Area Lunches & Dinners

Starting September 8, enjoy lunch and dinner specials from some of your favorite local restaurants and non-profit organizations. Meals will be served at the Chicagoland Popcorn Area underneath the new William E. Urschel Pavilion at Central Park Plaza, and are available for carry out.

LUNCH: September 8-11 from 11:30-1:00 p.m. Click here for menu.

  • Tuesday: Semento’s Napoli Café
  • Wednesday: Pesto’s Italian Restaurant
  • Thursday: Strongbow Inn
  • Friday: Kelsey’s Steak House

DINNER*: September 8-11. Times vary. Click here for menu.

  • Tuesday: Don Quijote Foundation
  • Wednesday: Valparaiso Band Parent Association
  • Thursday: Valparaiso Kiwanis Club
  • Friday: NWI School Nutrition Association*Dinner tickets can be purchased at the Valparaiso Events office or at the door.


There’s more than just popcorn in Valparaiso:

Tuesday, September 8:

  • 5:00 p.m. – Registration for Hot Wheels “Race of Champions”

Think your Hot Wheels car has what it takes to bring home the “Race of Champions” trophy?! Cars will compete on a 6 lane 70 foot track while the crowd cheers them on!  Entry fee is $1 per car if you bring your own. Hot Wheels cars can be purchased at the event for $1; entry fee per car is $1. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners.

  • 6:00 p.m. – Race begins

Wednesday, September 9:

  • 5:00-7:00 p.m. – Live entertainment by the VHS Jazz Combo
  • 6:30 p.m. – Cutest Baby Contest Finals. Sponsored by Regional Federal Credit Union.

Join us at the Chicagoland Popcorn Area under the William E. Urshel Pavilion to see the top 12 finalists from the Cutest Baby Preliminaries compete to win the title of Popcorn Fest Cutest Baby Boy & Girl. Winning babies will be awarded the opportunity to ride in the Popcorn Festival Parade on Saturday, September 12.

Thursday, September 10:

  • 10:30 a.m. – 6th Annual Rotary Popcorn Golf Outing registration opens
  • 12:00 p.m. – Shotgun start at the course at Aberdeen. For more information, contact Co-Chairs Jeffery Svantner ( or Jane Szymczak (

Friday, September 11:

  • 6:00 p.m. – Live entertainment by the VHS Wind Ensemble and Varsity Singers

For more information on the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival Pre-Week, click here.

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