Valparaiso Events

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Your Guide to the 2015 Popcorn Festival


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!

What’s in store for you this time? What will you see? How can you celebrate? We’ve created this handy guide to help walk you through everything the Popcorn Festival has to offer:



  • 7:00 a.m. – Craft, food, and fine arts booths open.

Support you favorite local vendors and businesses. Open until 6:30 p.m.

  • 7:00 a.m. – Kids Poppin’ and Play Place opens.

Inflatable rides, games, food, and more. This is a place just for the kids! Sponsored by Indiana University Northwest.

  • 7:30 a.m. – Popcorn Panic 5K Walk/5M Run.

Get up on your feet and start off your day with a scenic view of Valparaiso. Race as an individual or team! Register online through Monday, September 7, or stop by Extra Mile Fitness Company.

  • 8:45 a.m. – Lit’l Kernel Popcorn Race.

A race just for the little ones! Kids aged 2-9 years can participate in this 100-300 yard fun run. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a participation ribbon. For more information, click here.

  • 10:00 a.m. – Chicagoland Popcorn Parade.

Featuring over 100 different floats, marching bands, fire trucks and police cars, martial artists, gymnasts and more, the parade is one of the most popular attractions of the Popcorn Festival. Come early, stake out your spots along Lincolnway, and enjoy what this year’s parade has to offer.

  • 11:00 a.m. – Chicagoland Popcorn Food Area and Main Stage Beer Garden open.

Following the parade’s conclusion, enjoy an afternoon of family, friends, food, and fun! Enjoy food and beverage from Ben’s Pretzels, Pikk’s Tavern, Duffy’s Place, and Martini’s.

  • 12:00 p.m. – South Shore CVA Main Stage and Front Porch Music Stage open.

Enjoy live entertainment on two different stages, featuring our headliners Poi Dog Pondering and some of the finest music acts from around Indiana.

South Shore CVA Main Stage at the Porter Health Amphitheater:

  • 12:00-1:00 p.m. – The Indigos
  • 1:20-2:40 p.m. – Max Allen Band
  • 3:00-4:30 p.m. – The Crawpuppies
  • 5:00-6:30 p.m. – Poi Dog Pondering

Front Porch Music Stage:

  • 12:00-6:30 p.m. – This stage features students from the Garage Band 101 Course at Front Porch Music and Local Musicians.



The Popcorn Festival will welcome some of your favorite food vendors to the downtown area, but did you know that when you order something, you’ll be giving back? Each vendor is affiliated with a Porter County non-profit. Every purchase you make goes to benefit organizations such as Hilltop Neighborhood House, local Boy Scout troops, local FOP, Caring Place, Chicago Street Theatre, Valparaiso YMCA, and so many more! The Valparaiso Popcorn Festival touches so many lives, and it’s all because of you!



Plenty of off-site parking is available with a shuttle to bring you downtown.

Shuttle information: Adults $4; Child $2/Max $9

  • 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.
  • NORTH Popcorn Shuttle area – From the East, take I-80/90 or I-94 W to St. Rd. 49 S. Turn right onto Vale Park Rd. (400 N). Follow signs.
  • Parking Garage – Porter County Administration Building garage. $10 per vehicle.
  • Handicap Parking – From US 30 E 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 in Bartholomew Funeral Home (must have proper ID)
  • Bicycle Parking – 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.

For more on the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival, click here.





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