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Come celebrate everything potato at Spud Day


SHELLEY — People far and wide will be flocking to Shelley for a “spudtacular” day of events on Saturday to celebrate the state’s pride and joy: the potato.

Idaho Spud Day is in its 94th year. It celebrates the potato harvest season every year with a parade, free baked potatoes, entertainment, food vendors and a tug-of-war over a pit of mashed potatoes. Admission to the main events is free.

“My favorite part is when the whole community comes together to celebrate something as simple and lowly as the potato, you know? They will rally around it and give it a reason to get together,” said Bryan Jolley, co-chair of Spud Day.

Jolley has been involved with Spud Day since 2005. He enjoys it each year and says in 2022, it’s estimated to attract at least 10,000 people.

Saturday kicks off at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast put on by the Shelley-Firth Quick Response Unit at the Shelley Senior Center.

“We serve pancakes, eggs, sausage, milk, juice and coffee. (We are) charging $6 at the door or $25 for a family of five,” said Timothy Shurtz, a volunteer with QRU.

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Courtesy Shelley-Firth QRU

Shurtz said the QRU is made up of about 30 volunteers that are EMTs and paramedics that serve the Northern Bingham County community.

“When someone dials 911, and someone makes a request for an ambulance or medical service, Bingham County Dispatch dispatches us,” he said.

The breakfast is a fundraiser for the QRU and runs until 10 a.m. Last year, Shurtz said they were able to raise $2,500 from the breakfast. This year, he is hoping they can surpass that number.

“We use it to buy equipment or to buy supplies. So in essence, when people come and eat at our place or donate to the QRU, that money goes right back into the community,” he said.

Additionally, the Spud Day parade starts at 10 a.m. on State Street and free baked potatoes will be at noon at the Shelley City Park at Dawn Lloyd Field.

“We are giving away 5,000 baked potatoes with all the toppings and trimmings. It’s distributed right after the parade is over. People come to the park, and there’s a shelter there and people line up. It’s a great time for people to get a free meal,” Jolley said.

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Baked potatoes at Spud Day. | Courtesy Facebook, Idaho Annual Spud Day

There’s a potato-picking contest in which Jolley explained there would be 8,000 pounds of potatoes. At the end of the day, the potatoes are distributed to people who want them.

New this year is a fry-eating contest. It’s a battle against other fry eaters from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. There are prizes up to $75. There is also a lip-syncing contest that will have a prize giveaway. See below for the full list of events.

To lead up to the event, the Miss Russet Pageant is on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and a Tater Trot is on Friday.

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Full list of events for Spud Day. | Courtesy Facebook, Idaho Annual Spud Day

Jolley is encouraging anyone to come out, especially people who are new and have never heard of Spud Day before.

“If you’ve never experienced Spud Day, come out and see it. I think they will be pleasantly surprised that there is something here for everyone,” Jolley said. “They will be treated to almost a fair atmosphere but with small-town flavor to make it more personal and more fun. The celebration is one that you wouldn’t expect.”

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Courtesy Facebook, Idaho Annual Spud Day
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Courtesy Facebook, Idaho Annual Spud Day
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