Goshen News, Goshen, IN

July 7, 2013

Three local groups gunning for world’s largest popcorn ball title

BY SAM HOUSEHOLDER
THE GOSHEN NEWS

TOPEKA — A partnership between the Indiana State Fair, an Indianapolis-based popcorn company and a Topeka snack company aims to break a world record next month.

The three groups will attempt to construct the world’s largest popcorn ball at next month’s Indiana State Fair, but the base for the massive ball of gooey goodness began Tuesday at Snax In Pax in Topeka.

According to Indiana State Fair education specialist Stephanie DeCamp, the idea came out of the state fair’s 2013 theme of “the year of popcorn.”

Members of the State Fair board decided to try and set a world record for largest popcorn ball. According to DeCamp, the Guinness Book of World Records lists the world’s largest as 3,200 pounds, but that there is another one in Sac City, Iowa weighing in at 5,200 pounds.

DeCamp said that due to technicalities the ball being constructed will not be eligible for the Guinness record, but they are aiming to beat the Iowa record.

Snax In Pax is starting with a base being set in a wooden mold measuring 7.5 feet in diameter, according to Snax In Pax co-owner Will Huggins.

Once the base is finished the ball will weigh between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds according to Huggins and it will be shipped to Indianapolis by flatbed truck when the weather permits early next week. Equipment and the rest of the corn will be provided as well, he said.

At the state fairgrounds it will be finished by members of the State Fair board before being put on display for the 17-day run of the fair, Aug. 2-18.

After the fair, DeCamp said the ball will be broken apart and fed to livestock.

“We’re working with the Purdue University nutritionist to figure out the incorporation rates to safely feed it back to livestock,” she said.

DeCamp said while on display the popcorn ball will provide an educational use to visitors.

Students and the public, she said, will be able to calculate how many ears of corn were used and what portion of an acre was used to grow the corn used in the ball.

“Some of those logic problems that they will be conducting will spotlight agriculture as well as math and education,” she said.

According to Weaver Popcorn Co. marketing coordinator Samatha Ciminillo, the partnership has been beneficial for all the companies involved.

Weaver is providing the products to Snax In Pax because Weaver did not have the time and resources to devote to the project.

“We’ve been in partnership with them for quite some time and they were happy to help,” Weaver said. “So we’re providing the corn and the recipe and they’re providing manpower and machinery. It’s a good combination.”