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Gin Blossoms headline Saturday’s Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso

Past floats Popcorn Festival parade have included this giant Jiffy Pop. | Sun-Times MediFile Photo

Past floats in the Popcorn Festival parade have included this giant Jiffy Pop. | Sun-Times Media File Photo

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Marchers needed

The Indiana Fallen Heroes project needs 204 volunteers to march in Saturday’s parade. Marchers will carry a light plastic placard with the name, picture and a paragraph honoring the memories of Indiana servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. Those interested should meet at 9 a.m. on Bush Street, just west of Calumet Avenue. For more on the Indiana Fallen Heroes or the parade, see Indiana Fallen Heroes on Facebook.

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Updated: October 7, 2013 12:39PM



VALPARAISO – A nationally recognized musical act is again headlining this year’s Popcorn Festival, capping a day that also includes fitness runs for all ages, food and vendor booths, and a popcorn-themed parade.

The Gin Blossoms take the stage at Central Park Plaza at 5 p.m. Saturday. The group has had a number of hits, including the tune, “Hey, Jealousy.” This is the third year festival organizers have snagged a national act.

The trend started two years ago with Cracker, and continued last year with Rusted Root.

“Each year, we’ve been able to get a little bit bigger, so it’s been really exciting,” said Tina St. Aubin, executive director of Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events, which puts on the festival each year. “We need that nice, middle of the road band, and the Gin Blossoms seemed like a good fit.”

Local and regional bands will fill the other three slots on the main stage, she added.

The 35th annual festival, which celebrates all things popcorn in honor of the late Orville Redenbacher, kicks off at 7 a.m. downtown. The Popcorn Panic run and walk, as well as the Lit’l Kernel Puff Race for kids, follow.

The parade, with 80 entries this year, starts at 10 a.m. The festival also has a little more than 300 food and craft booths, with more than 50 booths on Washington Street dedicated to the fine arts.

Organizers added Fine Art Row to the festival about five years ago.

“We wanted to introduce fine arts to the festival, and really have it be a component beyond arts and crafts. This year, we’ve sold out,” St. Aubin said, adding the response has been phenomenal and adds to the mix of commercial and arts and crafts vendors.

Learn more

For a complete schedule of Saturday’s 35th annual Popcorn Festival, go to www.valparaisoevents.com.



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