Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#37 Popcorn Festival - Casey, IL - September 5, 2010

Popcorn Festival - Casey, IL - September 5, 2010

Welcome to the Popcorn Festival in Casey, and yes, the first thing you get is a free bag of popcorn. Getting the theme ingredient for free at a festival is always a great beginning. I think popcorn is one of those foods I could keep eating until either there was no more left or my stomach hurt. (Also included in that category: Chicken Wings, Candy Corn, Milk Chocolate, Peanut M&M's, most edible items, etc.)

Meet the fried pretzel. Deep fried foods are a staple at these festivals, and I can't believe it took me this long to find a fried pretzel. The concept is so simple and obvious it almost puts the pet rock to shame. Don't let the strange color and scary bubbles scar you, this pretzel was crispy and soft on the inside. A great compliment to the cheese. I'll just have to say that it tasted better than it photographed.

Next up was this belly bomber known as either a Frito-Pie or a Taco-in-a-Bag. Either way it is pretty tasty. These are prevalent at festivals, but I hadn't gotten one before. It is a regular bag of fritos (Slightly crushed) topped with chili, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream. Another looks like crap but tastes great option.

After these goodies, it was time for dessert. This is a deep fried snickers bar. This is definitely not my first rodeo when it comes to deep fried desserts, but the snickers had eluded me until now. Maybe I was expecting more, but this was kind of a disappointment. The crust did nothing for the bar, and to make a snickers even more gooey seems counter productive. Don't get me wrong, you can't go wrong with battering and frying a candy bar. But, I would prefer a frozen snickers to a deep fried one.

Strangely, there were three wood carvers putting on demonstrations throughout the day as well. These guys were fairly impressive as their pieces show. I like artwork of animals doing people activities, so the fishing bear definitely caught my eye.

Festive Trinket of the Week: I think this sign speaks for itself. It will make an excellent addition to my home, and I was even able to talk down the price enough to not even have buyers remorse (quite the feat when it comes to these silly trinkets).

Videos of the Week Twofer: I finally found my camera and videos are again plentiful. Of course you didn't expect quality images of quality entertainment did you? On the left is Paul Lee the Magician. He runs through a few staple tricks such as producing a dove and turning it into a rabbit. The man just needs an assistant, and he would be great. He even claims to have appeared on the Bozo the Clown Show (creepy, but reminded me of this Seinfeld skit). On the right is the "Whip Guy" who was actually fairly entertaining. Here he is doing his best Indiana Jones impersonation by whipping the whip around a woman.

This festival was actually larger than I had expected, but oddly enough did not feature much popcorn. Sadly, it had the free popcorn stand and two other kettle corn booths for purchase. I'm not much of a kettle corn guy, there's something plain wrong about sweet popcorn. So why popcorn in Casey, IL? I asked the local information booth, and was told that Casey used to be home to many popcorn factories, was grown in town, and donated to the festival. For some reason the factories closed up years ago and the town continued using a popcorn theme (even though its popcorn is now bought and shipped in).

I know my loyal reader is here to become the next leader in popcorn history so here you go. If that wasn't enough to satiate you, then this site dedicated to popcorn is bursting with info. Some of you may not be into all that learning stuff, so here is a direct link to a corn and kernel popcorn pong game against Poppy and a slow motion video of popcorn kernels popping set to strange music. Maybe that's not silly enough for you. Well then, how about the world's largest popcorn ball and the process to make it? If that still isn't doing it for you, then nothing is sillier than the mark up on movie theater popcorn. After all of that, the first thing that came to my mind when I thought about writing this post was James Brown performing "Mother Popcorn". If you would like to learn how to dance like James Brown learn from the Godfather of Soul himself here (2 Words: Funky Chicken). Or if you ever wondered why he is referred to as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, then here is a good run down. (Set to a great song).

These days microwaved popcorn has made life pretty easy for most popcorn enthusiasts. Yet modern science always wants to tell us that everything is bad for you. Heck, even if you do make it, many people tend to get distracted and forget it in the microwave too long. A lesson my old friend the Swedish Chef makes here to a very catchy song. If you want to make your own microwave popcorn yourself without the extra fillers and additives, then Alton Brown is here to help with a brown paper bag. Maybe you can even sneak some into your next movie and keep some kernels in your cob.


  1. I was surprised to read that you enjoyed all those goodies. Isn't it still Ramadan?

  2. Nice review. What other types of food vendors were there?

  3. Thanks for another fun review. This one seems to have had a lot of different goodies,I hadn't seen the "taco in a bag" before! Good quality picture of the friend snickers, by the way. Can't say the same about the whip video!

  4. Kathy - Perhaps I should have clarified like I did in my earlier posts. I actually went to this festival later in the day and ate them probably an hour afterwards. Thanks for actually reading the posts and your knowledge of Ramadan! Ramadan has ended, and I will return to, ironically, pigging out.

    Thanks Bucky and Imron. Not a whole lot of variety there, but I finally succumbed to the taco. I was researching cameras after I lost mine, and finally learned what the macro function does.

    Thanks for reading!!