BEAVERCREEK — The Popcorn Festival Committee is looking forward to celebrating its 31st year and bringing the largest Greene County festival and fundraising event back to the community. This year the event faces a challenge and the committee is seeking help from everyone who loves popcorn.
“This event is one of the largest festivals in the Miami Valley. It attracts approximately 70,000 visitors each year and occupies 270 vendors and 300 booths,” President of the Festival Committee,Scott Hadley said. “Each year we give away most of our proceeds to local organizations in need.”
Last November, an unfortunate event occurred that destroyed one of their main electrical distribution boxes and needs to be replaced by the scheduled festival: Sept. 9-10.
“Without it, we lose power for one third of our vendors. We need to raise $25,000,” Hadley said. “Anyone can be a donor or a benefactor.”
The electrical box was damaged as a result of a collision by an uninsured motorist near Krogers Fuel station across from Rodenbeck Drive. The impact caused the driver to spin out of control, go over the curb and strike the electrical box. The driver was cited.
In order to get the electrical box replaced in time for the festival, the needed money needs to be obtained and collected within at least 90 days prior, to allow enough time for the materials to be ordered and the installation to be completed. The Popcorn Festival Committee is planning on obtaining bids for the repair and replacement work completed by the end of this week.
“Should we not be able to raise enough money, we will be forced to borrow the money for the repairs, which would harm our ability to make donations,” Hadley said. “For businesses and/or organizations that donate, we will be offering advertising space in our 5X8 festival program.”
To donate please make checks payable to “Popcorn Electric” and send to: Beavercreek Popcorn Electric, City of Beavercreek Parks Department, 789 Orchard Lane, Beavercreek, OH 45434.
“I’ve watched the festival grow from a large wooden water trough full of popcorn at a local country store to what it is today. We block off a quarter mile of the second busiest street in Beavercreek for two days every year. This allows people to walk safely up and down Dayton-Xenia Road to enjoy all the different food and crafts,” Hadley said. “This event put Beavercreek on the map.”
The committee is asking for donations in any amount — nothing is too little as he said it all adds up.
“It is a great opportunity for businesses, individuals, families and organizations to step up and be a savior and supporter of a festival that has been home to the Beavercreek community for so long. By giving, you will allow us to continue our tradition of “giving back” to Beavercreek,” Hadley said.
Since 1996, the Popcorn Festival Committee has donated over $166,700 to Beavercreek groups and organizations. Each year, the festival sets aside approximately $10,000 for expenditures for the festival and everything else is up for discussion for donations. The committee’s goal is to be a benefit to the community and not a money making committee.
“Please spread the word and help us reach our goal so we can keep giving to the community we love so much,” Hadley said.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.