A world record is cooking up at Snax In Pax in Topeka in the past few weeks. The base for the world’s largest popcorn ball has been constructed in a giant bowl, and the mounded half-sphere of sticky caramel popcorn will be sent to the Indiana State Fair in the next few days, where volunteers will construct the rest of the ball by hand in time for the fair in early August.
This giant confectionary delight will outweigh the current world record in Iowa by at least 140 pounds, the goal size being at least 5,200 pounds and over 8 feet tall. The current record in Sac City, Iowa, weighs 5,060 pounds.
This year at the Indiana State Fair, it is “the year of popcorn.” Weaver Popcorn in Van Buren, Ind., bought advertising rights at the state fair and they asked Snax In Pax to help them set a world record. The Indiana State Fair has broken records in the past, displaying the world’s largest hog and the world’s largest bull. Weaver Popcorn and Snax In Pax decided to work together to add to that proud list. Will Huggins, vice president at Snax In Pax, was “happy to be asked to help.”
Snax In Pax finished their portion of the ball in about eight hours, but it has been sitting and hardening for days so that it can be strong enough to survive transport and support a lot more weight. When it is shipped in the next few days, Snax In Pax will also send a small cooker with caramel, and Weaver Popcorn will send all the dry popcorn needed to finish the ball. Volunteers, Indiana government representatives, and the fair board director will all pull on heat-resistant gloves to finish up the ball by hand at the state fair, which takes place Aug. 2-18 in Indianapolis.
The popcorn ball will be put on display at the fair. Indiana State Fair representative Stephanie DeCamp says the ball will be there for the entertainment of viewers, but it will also be educational; students will visit the fair and predict how many ears of corn were used to build the ball, how many acres the corn took up, etc. After the fair has ended, the popcorn ball will be fed to livestock after undergoing careful alteration and tests by a dietitian. The sugar levels will have to be reduced so that the health of the livestock is not endangered.
DeCamp says that the state fair won’t be sending in their record to any official record books. “We’d like to keep it within the state of Indiana for the sake of Indiana and the fair,” she said. Will Huggins at Snax In Pax agreed. “We aren’t doing it for us,” he said, speaking for the company, “It’s just a good example of an Indiana county helping out the Indiana state.”