The Kettle Corn Capitol of Kansas is celebrating.
That’s the first annual “Kettle Corn Festival” on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Burlingame, according to Les Holman.
“We have a day of fun-filled events planned for the entire family,” said Holman of the sponsoring Burlingame Chamber of Commerce.
Perhaps a definition of kettle corn would be appropriate. One computer description: “Kettle corn is a sweet-and-salty variety of popcorn that is typically mixed or seasoned with a light-colored refined sugar, salt and oil.”
“It was traditionally made in cast iron kettles, hence the name,” Holman said. “But in modern times other types of pots and pans are used.
Kettle corn was introduced to the United States in the 18th century. In the early 21st century, kettle corn made a comeback in America, especially at 19th-century living history events.
“Burlingame became noticed when the local kettle corn company “Thrill’s” won the top three prizes in popcorn competition at the Kansas State Fair,” Holman explained.
Right on the original Santa Fe Trail, Burlingame is appropriately proudly keeping the kettle corn tradition alive as the Kettle Corn Capitol of Kansas.
“The Kettle Corn Festival at Burlingame begins with a morning parade at 10 o’clock,” Holman said. “It’ll be highlighted by the largest bag of kettle corn in Kansas.”
Other events are a kettle corn cake design contest, and a kettle corn popcorn ball eating contest.
“Later you can witness the largest bag of kettle corn in Kansas being moved by human power in a competition timed event,” Holman said.
A disc golf tournament is scheduled along with a single kettle corn dart throwing contest. There’ll be a bounce house for the children.
“In the afternoon, the microphone will be open for karaoke as locals and guests sing their hearts out,” Holman said.
Prominent country music singer Rusty Rierson will entertain throughout the evening starting at 7 o’clock.
“We’re pleased to have a Kansas fellow like Rusty Rierson who performs with Clint Black and Trace Adkins to be part of our celebration,” Holman said.
“Bring your lawn chairs for the concert where you can have your own spot on the historic Santa Fe Trail,” he invited.
The Burlingame City Council unanimously approved the request of Jerry Hill, owner of Thrill’s Kettle Corn, to become the Kettle Corn Capitol of Kansas in 2016.
“I’m all for any recognition that he can have,” said Vicki DeMars, Burlingame mayor at that time. “I think it’s great.”
“We’re talking about business initiative and we all want to bring business to Burlingame,” Holman, a council member then, said. “I think if we start with this little gesture, you know, this maybe will jump start something. Every little thing we do will help.”
“I think it’s a good thing to happen to Burlingame,” said Bunleng Hill, wife of Jerry Hill. “It gets people out to the events, most people don’t know Burlingame. Some people don’t even know it’s on a map.”
“See you Saturday, Aug. 10, for the Kettle Corn Festival at Burlingame,” Holman welcomed.