There is a secret about the Marion Popcorn Festival held every September, the first weekend after Labor Day in Marion, Ohio. It is not really about the popcorn. Mainly the festival is about food– fair food—and music, lots of it. There are only two popcorn festivals in the world, and Marion boasts that it is the biggest. It features the Wyandot Popcorn Museum that preserves the history of the popcorn industry in Marion, Ohio.
Admission to the festival located in the heart of downtown Marion is free. You can load up your camping chairs and listen to wonderful music for the price of getting there. If you do not mind standing, you can wander into the beer garden and pay $3.00 for a cold one and practically front row viewing.
Friday, September 9, 2011, we brought our chairs to the festival but decided the band was too good and we wanted to be closer. For the $3.00 beer, we were up close, enjoying the music. The group we saw was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
It was a spirited concert. The band consisted of a lead guitar, bass player, and drummer and of course the star of the show, Grace Potter, who played piano and guitar and sang out her heart and soul. She has a beautiful sexy voice, a powerful delivery for a blues infused rock. Grace Potter is currently featured in a top 10 county duet with Kenny Chesney, but she is a rocker at heart.
I quickly became a fan, and so were several thousand other folks. The announcer said that many people came from as far as California, Virginia and Kentucky just to see her, and I can believe it. We came from Central Ohio and our 45-minute trek was certainly worth it.
Last year at the popcorn festival in Marion we saw Blues Traveler, an 80’s rock band that has a big sound. My favorite of their songs is Felicia, who in the song is invited to dance. That was my mother’s name and I will always recall how she liked the song and danced to it when I played it for her.
Sometimes the best entertainment is found at the most unexpected places, and even in your own backyard so to speak. Keep an open mind and check out what may seem like a corny (pun intended) venue. Sometimes you will be surprised at what you will find!