A family raises money for the softball team at the Manitou Popcorn Festival

A family raises money for the softball team at the Manitou Popcorn Festival


PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) – As part of a longstanding family tradition, Joy Goolesby and her family served popcorn at the Manito Popcorn Festival in exchange for donations.

All proceeds go to a different cause each year. This time they will benefit from the Midwest Spirit girls’ softball team operating out of the Midwest Central School District. In return, volunteers from the team helped carry and fortify the kitlikorn.

kettlecorn has a long history in Manitou. Goolsby said they made it the same way her father, Joe and Wood, did, in the same boilers and with the same equipment. They also make other classic recipes from her father such as French onion soup and pork chops.

Julesi, one of eight children, returns to Manitou every year for the festival. She and her daughter live out of state but get back together once a year to continue the tradition.

“We all do it in my father’s spirit,” Goolsby said. “We know he’s watching us and he’s very proud.”

“We don’t charge a kettlecorn because it’s always been thought that some of the little kids in the park don’t have the money to pay anyway, so we’re just taking a donation,” she continued.



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