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2013 to be the year of popcorn at State Fair

– Next year’s Indiana State Fair will toast the state’s ranking as the nation’s second-largest popcorn producer.

Fair officials say the 2013 State Fair that runs Aug. 2-18 will be the year of popcorn. Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye says most people don’t realize Indiana is a popcorn powerhouse.

Officials say popcorn was first grown as a crop about 4,000 years ago, but the treat didn’t become popular until it was the only snack many people could afford during the Great Depression. Nearly all the popcorn in the world is grown in the United States.

Next year will be the seventh straight year the fair has highlighted one of Indiana’s agricultural commodities. Earlier fairs have put the spotlight on corn, trees, tomatoes, pigs, soybeans and dairy cows.