Potato Day & Potato Fest

Celebrating the spud nationally and in Colorado.

Today, August 19, is National Potato Day — right between National Fajita Day (yesterday) and World Humanitarian Day (tomorrow).  Potato promoters offer up statistics and recipes galore, but for Coloradans, the real celebration is Saturday, September 9 when the annual Colorado Potato Festival takes place in the San Luis Valley.

Monte Vista in the southern part of the valley hosts the festival in Chapman Park (4 Chico Camino, Monte Vista), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day is filled with mostly FREE fun activities and events like the Tater Trot 5K Race, music, crafts, guided tours, kids’ games, chef demos using freshly harvested Colorado potatoes, the infamous Mashed Potato Dunk Tank and more.

There’s a free four-hour bus tour of the valley’s potato farms  and shipping centers and two one-hour train tours, also free  courtesy of the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.  Contact the Colorado Potato Assn. (719-852-3322) to reserve spots on the bus. but you can just show up for the train. It departs from Fullenwider Park, so there’s a free tractor-pulled shuttle between the two parks.

At 5 p.m., a concert by country star Brooke Eden takes place at the Ski Hi Park Arena, 2331 Sherman Ave., Monte Vista. Tickets are just 15. Purchase on-line before August 25 and be automatically entered into a drawing for four tickets to Coors Field for the Rockies versus the Diamondbacks and parking.

2 thoughts on “Potato Day & Potato Fest”

  1. Ah, what memories this post brings to mind. I grew up in a small farming community where the main crop was potatoes and the annual Potato Fest was the big event of the summer. Teens “worked in the potatoes” to earn money in the summer–it was hard work and often dirty work in really hot conditions. My job there lasted a very short time–the first time I got fired, because the boss could see I could not tell how to sort the sizes as they rolled down the line–sort of like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory!

    1. Maine’s enormous Aroostook County (known as The County) is the north cap atop this New England state. Potatoes are still such a big crop that the schools close during harvest time so the kids can work the harvest.

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