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RVing across America: Popcorn Days in Nebraska

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.

popcornWhile 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.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2012-09-15

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

4 Responses to “RVing across America: Popcorn Days in Nebraska”

September 17, 2012at10:10 am, Sam Potter said:

I have a Born Free Class C. I have no trouble on the state and county highways. Maybe an A couldn’t do them but a C can. It’s not just lass Bs.

September 17, 2012at9:56 am, Marvin said:

We never travel the Interstates. Always better on the two-lanes and blacktops. We have a 2011 Leisure Travel Van Unity and absolutely love it. Hope to see you out there someday. You ought to check out LTVs someday!

September 17, 2012at9:36 am, Hilltoper said:

Not a lot of camping spots out there. Did you boondock? Where did you stay?

September 15, 2012at4:28 pm, Jim Darton said:

You’ve given us another place to go in our Class V+B – just as soon as we decide which model to get. We like your Roadtrek but are also thinking about a Leisure Travel Van. Either way, we’ll be retracing many of your routes next year. Keep telling us about cool places to visit, Mike!

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