Crowned the second Mr. Popcorn in competition that took place at River Valley High School Saturday afternoon, Don Bennett entered in response to a challenge from his daughter, Abigail, who was Miss Teeny Pop 2016. “I had to make good on my promise to my daughter,” said Bennett, “that if she worked hard and won Miss Teeny Pop last year I would enter the Mr. Popcorn. What I discovered, though, was that it was a lot of fun … and I would like to challenge other men to compete next year because it truly was a lot of fun.”
Using the 2017 Festival theme “Viva Pop Vega”, Bennett captured the Popcornwear category sporting a full Elvis costume, including white jumpsuit, cape, and the “Elvis” hair. “I have to thank my wife for making the cape with the popcorn material lining,” said Bennett, “and Fuzzy’s for sponsoring my tuxedo.”
Bennett lives in Caledonia with his wife, Tracy, and daughter Abigail. He works at Cardington Yutaka and attends Caledonia United Methodist Church.
As Mr. Popcorn, Bennett will be featured at all Festival activities, including the Festival’s Popcorn Parade and on the main stage. He will also make numerous appearances throughout Ohio during the coming year.
Named Mr. Popcorn Junior was 11-year-old Brody Cahill. He is a 5th grader in the Marion City Schools and is the son of Tom and Cassy Cahill.
Mr. Popcorn Kernel was Karson Freeman. Just 10 months, he is the son of Brandon Freeman and Hollie Haundenshield of LaRue.
Winning Overall Formalwear was Kailin Main. Kyron Brooks won the overall Photogenic Award, which was an additional category contestants could enter. The result of photogenic, however, had no bearing on the overall Mr. Popcorn competition. Also earning Honorable Mention Awards was Hayes Wilson.
Winners received prize packages, and all contestants received participation awards sponsored by Corner Barber Shop, Paradise Park Miniature Golf, Days Gone By Photography by Gretchen, River Valley, Terrie’s Photography, Applebee’s, and Dolfin Music, Sound and Production.
Pageant Chair Ashley Thompson said, “I’m very pleased with how the Mr. Popcorn pageant went and the effort the people who entered to make this a truly enjoyable experience. I would like to encourage even more to enter next year.”
The 2017 dates of the Marion Popcorn Festival are September 7, 8 and 9. Main stage entertainment includes alternative pop/rock band Gin Blossoms on Friday, September 8, and southern rockers the Georgia Satellites are set for Saturday, September 9. The main stage lineup for Thursday, September 7’s Bike Nite will feature The Prince Experience, a Prince Tribute Band, at 8:30 p.m., with classic rock/blues band Reckless Abandonment opening at 6:00. Thursday night’s main stage is sponsored by Mennel Popcorn. .All headline performances begin at 8:30 p.m. are free of charge to Festival attendees. A limited number of Kernel sponsorship seats are available for any of the main stage performances by calling 740-387-FEST.
Other events include renowned Central Ohio artist Arnett Howard and Friends at the historic Marion Palace Theatre at 2:00 p.m. on September 7, the Popcorn Parade with over 300 units, a popcorn cooking contest, a fine art show, crafts, Popcorn 5000 5K run/walk, Popcorn 100 bike tour, Community Showcase stage, Marion’s Hometown Talent stage, Poppin’ Party stage, and much more.
For more information, browse our web site, “Like” The Marion Popcorn Festival on Facebook, or call 740-387-FEST. The Marion Popcorn Festival is sponsored in part by the City of Marion.