Celebrating the Twinkie: America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure

Posted on Oct 10, 2017

CVB Staff
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CVB Staff

The Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) welcomes visitors and meeting planners, and serves as the visitor information center for Emporia, Kansas and surrounding area.
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We know you’ve heard of the Twinkie – an American icon – but did you know Emporia is the sole producer of the snack and has a festival celebrating them? Read up on some Twinkie trivia and then come out for a good time at Twinkies Festival this Saturday!

Humble beginnings

Invented in 1933 by James A. Dewar, Twinkies actually began with banana flavored filling. Mr. Dewar was a baker for Continental Baking Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. One of the company’s products was strawberry creme filled shortcakes, but several of the factory’s machines sat unused when strawberries were out of season. To make better use of the factory equipment during the off-season, Mr. Dewar came up with the idea for a banana cream filled cake. He named it the Twinkie. Continental Baking Company began selling two-packs of the cakes for just a nickel.

During World War II, bananas were rationed, so the company changed the creme filling to vanilla. The new vanilla flavor was such a hit that the company stuck with it for the next several decades.

Today, there are MANY flavors of Twinkies, including banana creme and the new chocolate peanut butter. The Twinkie is currently manufactured by Hostess Brands, and Emporia’s Hostess plant on Industrial Road is the nation’s sole producer of Twinkies and also produces other Hostess snack cakes.

Twinkie Fun Facts

  • Over half a billion Twinkies are produced each year right here in Emporia.
  • While you probably shouldn’t go on a “Twinkie Diet” like nutritionist Mark Haub, one Twinkie cake has 135 calories, which is less than a can of soda.
  • The current World Record holder for Twinkie Eating is Joey Chestnut, who downed 121 Twinkies in six minutes.
  • It is an urban legend that Twinkies “last forever.” The shelf life of a Twinkie is 45 days.
  • All Twinkies are individually baked for 12 minutes in their own Twinkie shaped mold.
  • In 1983, on the 50th birthday of the Twinkie, the company celebrated by making a 10-foot-long Twinkie weighing more than a ton, or the equivalent of about 32,300 individual cakes.

Emporia Twinkies Festival

If all of this Twinkie talk has you hankering for a little golden cake of your own, don’t miss Emporia’s Twinkies Festival this Saturday. Twinkies Festival is Saturday, October 14 at Lyon County Fairgrounds. The event kicks off with a 5k Walk/Run and ends with a Twinkie eating contest! You’ll enjoy an entire day of fun with activities for kids and adults. Activities and events include a 5Krun/walk, box car derby, Twinkie Toss, Plinko, carnival games, and music.

EVENT SCHEDULE: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 @ LYON COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS

8:00am ————— 5K Registration

9:00am ————— 5K Walk/Run

9:00am ————— Box Car Derby Registration @ ESU – North West Parking Lot near the HPER Building and Tennis Courts

9:00am-2:30pm
 ————— Hostess Brands Costume Contest Registration

9:00am-3:30pm

  • Twinkie Toss
  • Coloring Page Station
  • Carnival Games
  • Lego Fun

    10:00am
     ————— Box Car Derby @ ESU – North West Parking Lot near the HPER Building and Tennis Courts

    11:00am-12:00pm
     ————— Live Music by Reggie Leydens

    12:00-1:15pm
     ————— Live Music by Eric Nelson

    2:00-3:00pm
     ————— Live Music by Albert Charles

    2:00pm
     ————— Eating Contest Registration

    2:30pm
     ————— Hostess Brands Costume Contest

    3:00pm
     ————— Costume Parade

    3:15pm
     ————— Eating Contest

We’ll see you Saturday!

CVB Staff
Follow Us

CVB Staff

The Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) welcomes visitors and meeting planners, and serves as the visitor information center for Emporia, Kansas and surrounding area.
CVB Staff
Follow Us

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