The 39th annual Popcorn Festival marched Saturday morning into the streets of Valparaiso as floats decked out with balloons, paint and plenty of popcorn rode through town.
Military vehicles, antique fire engines, trolleys, corvettes, buses, golf carts and motorcycles dazzled spectators who lined the streets to view the various modes of transportation pass by.
“My favorite was when the motorcycles were riding around and handing out candy,” said 12-year-old Weston McNeill, of Valparaiso, as he devoured a Tootsie Roll, though he said the military vehicles came in a close second place in his opinion.
A Tesla with doors open like wings passed by in front of a group of kids demonstrating their karate kicks, followed by princesses and superheroes and tailed by members of the South Shore Roller Girls.
See who was there in this Faces of the Region gallery!
As 6-year-old Lindsay Hoover, of South Haven, watched, she said she was enjoying the parade with her 4-year-old cousin Kinsley Ford.
“The Centier Bank float is my favorite because my Nana works there. I didn’t catch any candy yet but my cousin got some,” she said.
The route wound from the tracks on Calumet Avenue, south to Lincolnway turning west to Campbell Street and ended at Ben Franklin Middle School where participants regrouped with their families.
Many of the entries were the result of dozens of hours spent during the week at the Valparaiso bus barn as volunteers painstakingly decorated their floats with popcorn and glue.
Attendees enjoyed the outcome as a colorful popcorn rainbow, a popcorn silhouette of a gymnast and a ship with a bison at the helm surrounded by popcorn gingerbread men rode by.
Earlier that morning, the Popcorn Panic race brought hundreds of participants to the streets for the annual tradition, and volunteers Mike Thomas and Lorena Ochoa, both 17, of Portage, said that it was a success.
Gallery: Popcorn Festival Parade and Events