One of the best things about RVing in a Type B motorhome is you can get to a lot of great places far off the interstate…places like the Sandhills of Nebraska, a 10,000 square mile region of grass covered sand dunes that takes up nearly 25% of the state.
While we were cruising these beautiful sandhills – the largest area of sand dunes in the western hemisphere we passed through the tiny town of North Loup, population 297, which just happened to be holding an annual event called Popcorn Days.
Instantly…. I stopped.
Popcorn Days is a very big deal, as you can see in this accompanying video. You see, this region, right on the edge of the sandhills, is one of the largest popcorn growing areas of the world. North Loup popcorn is considered, for popcorn aficionados, among the best in the world.
Popcorn Days has lots of things going for it… a junior rodeo draws a big crowd.. there's street dancing… polka dancing… horseshoe contests…. a carnival….. vegetable judging… all accompanied by free popcorn. It was a great year for popcorn.
To learn more about it, we drove outside of town to the home of local popcorn baron Chuck Zangger, who grows about a quarter of all the popcorn consumed in the US. Chuck took us out to his fields and taught us all about popcorn.
Zanger Popcorn is a world producer. When the season ends in Nebraska, he grows in South America, South Africa and France.
There's plenty to go around. Next time you're in Nebraska, get off the interstate and head towards North Loup.While other towns claim to be the popcorn capital of the US, North Loup's annual Popcorn Days festival goes back 106 years.