Clevelanders and Ohioans love their popcorn. Things just seem to be so much better, especially movies, when you have popcorn to munch on. Annual consumption of popcorn in the United States exceeds one billion pounds per year which comes out to about 71 quarts per person. Ohio is one of the top four states in the country for popcorn consumption (others are indiana, Iowa and Illinois.). Clevelanders can pay homage to this popular snack food at the annual Popcorn Festival in Marion, Ohio on Thursday, September 8 through Saturday, September 10. It is approximately a 2 hour drive from Cleveland to Marion, Ohio.
Marion Popcorn Festival Claiming to be the largest popcorn festival in the world and attracting more than 250,000 visitors each year, the Marion Popcorn Festival was also named one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association.
The festivities kick off at 2 p.m. on Thursday with a special concert for seniors at the Palace Theatre entitiled ” Michael Sutherland — Frank Sinatra & Friends” followed by a parade (with more than 300 units) at 6 p.m.
With one of the largest midways in America,the Festival features lots of popcorn, 300 food vendors, an art show, craft and commercial exhibits, a popcorn cooking contest, a corn toss tournament, amusement rides and various pageants including Queen, Teen, Teeny and Wee Pop pageants.
Other activities include a softball tournament, the Popcorn Bowl – Marion Midget Football, Bike Night, a 5K run and the Popcorn 100 Bicycle Tour.
Free entertainment will be provided each night at 8:30 p.m. on the outdoor main stage. Performers include Vicious Cycle– Lynard Skynard Tribute Band and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. Headlining performers in previous years at the Marion Popcorn Festival have included Gloria Estefan, The Neville Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Huey Lewis.
Hours for the Marion Popcorn Festival are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. all three days of the event. Admission is free. Parking is free. The Festival is located at Center Street in downtown Marion. 740-387-3378. Marion, Ohio is 117 miles from Cleveland and it is about a 2 hour drive.