The Idaho Potato Commission Set to Celebrate Harvest at Idaho Annual Spud Day in Shelley

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SHELLEY, IDAHO, August 10, 2006 – The Shelley Kiwanis Club and the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) are gearing up to host an Idaho tradition – the Idaho Annual Spud Day on Saturday, September 16. The day-long event is held at Shelley City Park and will be packed with dozens of fun, potato-themed games and contests. This family-oriented, down-home affair is a popular event and it celebrates the world famous Idaho® Potato harvest, which runs from September through October.

This year, special IPC friend and Driggs, ID resident, Dawn Wells (a.k.a Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island) will be the honorary event attendee. (The IPC is a major sponsor of Ms. Wells’ Spudfest Drive-In Film and Movie Festival, which takes place in Idaho.) Ms. Wells will mingle with fellow Idaho Potato lovers and participate in many of the fun Idaho Potato-themed events and games.

“Just as we look forward to harvest season, this is a much anticipated event as well,” said Frank Muir, President/CEO of IPC. “This is a pivotal time of year for us and after

months of hard work, the Idaho Annual Spud Day gives us a chance to celebrate and have some fun. Many of our fellow Idahoans rely on the Idaho Potato industry for

their livelihoods. This year we anticipate harvesting over 12 billion pounds of potatoes!”

The Idaho Annual Spud Day kicks off this year with the annual Spud Run, and a festive breakfast at 7:00am, sponsored by Shelley/Firth QRU. There will be a fee to attend the breakfast, however, the other festival activities are FREE for those who bring a non-perishable food item. All food donations and proceeds from Idaho Potato sales will benefit the Shelley Food Bank.

The annual Spud Day Kids’ Parade begins at 10:15 a.m., followed by the Spud Day Parade at 10:30 a.m., featuring honorary event attendee Dawn Wells, the newly crowned 2006 Miss Russet and many colorful floats representing groups and organizations local to Shelley. The festival will close with an exciting Demolition Derby in the evening.

This year, the Idaho Annual Spud Day presents an updated version of its always-popular Cooking Contest (formerly the Dutch Oven Cook Off). Contestants will have two hours to cook up their favorite Idaho Potato dishes on-site using only a propane or charcoal grill. Local celebrity Steve Cannon from Channel 3 News will judge all entries at 1:00 p.m. Winners will be chosen in three categories: Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts, and will have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes.

The remainder of the day will be filled with music and activities including the World Championship Potato Picking Contest with categories for all ages at 1:00 p.m., the traditional “Spud-Tug-of-War” over a mashed potato pit at 2:30 p.m., Potato Sculpting & Decorating and Horseshoe Contests.

With this year’s event theme “Born to be Served,” festival-goers definitely won’t leave hungry! Over 35 food vendors will be on-site serving up various delicious Idaho Potato dishes and 5,000 baked potatoes will be handed out immediately following the morning parade. Stop by the Idaho Potato Stand to purchase a bag of fresh from the harvest potatoes donated by the Idaho Potato Commission.

“This event gets better and better every year – perhaps that’s why we see an increase in the number of people attending every year too,” said Mickey David, event coordinator of the Idaho Annual Spud Day. “Families from Shelley, from throughout Idaho, and even from Idaho’s surrounding states make the trek here to celebrate their favorite spuds. This year, the new and improved Cooking Contest will certainly be something to see. Those Idaho Potato fans always get so creative.”

With its inaugural event held in 1927, Idaho Annual Spud Day is the longest running potato harvest festival in existence. For more information on Idaho Annual Spud Day, contact Mickey David at

Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don’t realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the “Grown in Idaho” seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the “Grown in Idaho®” seal are federally registered certification marks that belong to the Idaho Potato Commission. These marks ensure consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in Idaho.