The 6 Popcorn Capitals Of The USA

The 6 Popcorn Capitals Of The USA

Have you ever wondered about the city in which popcorn was first popularized? Unfortunately, that information is lost to the murky tides of history, so we will have to sort through the six towns that proclaim themselves to be the world’s popcorn capitals.

Marion, Ohio

A small town of about 35000 people in Ohio, Marion is home to one of the only two popcorn museums in the world, and the larger of the two. This is the reason for the town’s claim to the title of popcorn capital, coupled with its annual popcorn festival, which is a recurring theme for most towns with this claim.

Marion, Ohio popcorn

Van Buren, Indiana

This is one of the smaller towns on this list, with a registered population of just under 900 people. It is home to the Weaver company, a well-known manufacturer of popcorn. Indiana is a state which is known for its vast cornfields, so it is rather unsurprising that it would make this list of popcorn capitals.

Van Buren, Indiana Popcorn Festival

Schaller, Iowa

Another very small town founded in 1879, with less than 800 residents. With rich cornfields surrounding the town, Schaller used to be host to two of the larger American popcorn manufacturers, Bango and Jolly Time. In the mid 1900's, packaging popcorn was a major industry in this town. These companies have since moved on, but Schaller has kept their title as a popcorn capital.





Schaller, Iowa Popcorn Days

Valparaiso, Indiana

Valparaiso is home to about 30000 inhabitants, and it is one of the more memorable members of this list. First of all, it is home to one of the largest popcorn fairs amongst the towns on this list.

This town was home to Orville Redenbacher. Redenbacher along with his business partner, Charlie Bowman launched their popping corn in 1970. By the mid 1970's, they had captured a third of the unpopped popcorn market. Later, they sold their company which now owned ConAgra. 

You may recognize the name from one of the most famous brands of popcorn both microwaved and otherwise. 

Valparaiso, Indiana Popcorn Festival
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North Loup, Nebraska

This is by far the smallest inclusion on this list of popcorn capitals of the world, North Loup Nebraska has a population of scarcely 300 people. More of a village than a town, they first experimented with popcorn around the beginning of the 20th century. They host a festival which is known as “Popcorn Days.”

North Loup, Nebraska Popcorn Days

Ridgway, Illinois

Ridgway is another smaller town, with about 800 inhabitants. They used to have a popcorn plant which led them to term themselves as the popcorn capital of the world. They are the only town on this list to have laid that title to rest, however, as they gave it up when their popcorn plant shut down. They still host a festival which is known as “Popcorn Day”.

Ridgway, Illinois Popcorn Festival

Conclusion

Six towns claim to be the "Popcorn Capital of the World". They are all generally small towns with 30,000 residents or less located in the midwest. Some of these towns like to celebrate their claim with an annual festival.

Over the years, these towns have changed and some of the businesses that started in these places have since left. However, ​popcorn continues to be a very popular snack enjoyed throughout the world by many people. The residents in these towns still love to celebrate this wonderful, all-American snack!



brands of popcorn

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