The 37th annual Valparaiso Popcorn Festival is fast approaching. Thinking of joining in on the fun on Saturday, Sept. 12? To take full advantage of the day’s events, make sure you are in the know with information on where to park, how to get around, what to bring—and what not to bring.

Getting Around

To optimize your Popcorn Festival experience, check out the festival map for important landmarks, including restrooms, bus stops, handicap accessibility, first aid stations, booths, and more.

Parking and Shuttle Information

Festival day parking will be available for $10 per vehicle at the Porter County Administration Building Parking Garage.

Parking in the Bartholomew Funeral Home will be available for those with handicap parking needs. From U.S. 30 E to St. Rd. 2, turn north on Washington Street. Proceed to the barricade and turn east on South Street. Go over the railroad tracks to the stop sign at Franklin Street. Continue north on Franklin Street to Monroe Street, where you will find the Bartholomew Funeral Home. Proper identification for handicap parking is required.

Arriving by bike? Valparaiso Pathways Committee will host free, non-supervised bicycle parking from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Washington and Chicago streets. Don’t forget to bring your own bike lock.

Want to enjoy the festival without the hassle of parking? Shuttles will be available at various locations to transport patrons to the festival area. Prices are $4 for adults and $2 for children ($9 max) and include round trip service.

South Popcorn Shuttle Area — From the west, take I–80/90 or I–94 E to I–65 S to U.S. 30 E approximately 10 miles to Hayes Leonard School.

North Popcorn Shuttle Area — From the east, take I–80/90 or I–94 W to St. Rd. 49 S. Turn right onto Vale Park Rd. (400 N). Follow the signs.

What to Pack

Packing the essential gear will make for a more enjoyable experience before and after the festival. Check the weather before you depart, and prepare for all situations, including bringing sunscreen and raingear. You never know when the weather will change in Northwest Indiana!

To stay hydrated, pack plenty of water. Patrons are also welcome to bring their own food and snacks into the festival area. But remember, more than 30 different food vendors will partner with local non-profit organizations to offer some of your favorite festival treats throughout the day, all for a good cause!

To fully enjoy the parade and main stage entertainment, consider packing a blanket or lawn chair. And don’t forget to bring an extra bag or two to store goodies from the parade and booths.

What to Leave at Home

Though you might hate the thought of leaving your furry friend at home, pets are not permitted in the festival area. In addition, patrons are asked to leave their in-line skates, skateboards, and bikes outside the festival grounds. The Valparaiso Popcorn Festival has enjoyed a long tradition of providing a safe and friendly environment for families and patrons of all ages. These restrictions ensure that the 37-year tradition can continue, not just this year, but for many more to come.

For more information on parking, shuttles, how to navigate the festival, and more, please visit