Mantua – Most people mark their 40th anniversary with rubies, but in Mantua, they’ll be celebrating the occasion with potatoes. This year marks the 40th year that the Village holds their annual event dedicated to all things spud, and it’s one year you won’t want to miss. The festival begins on Friday, September 6th at 6 pm with the opening ceremonies. As in years past, there will be carnival games, rides and food, as well as a variety of bands performing throughout the weekend. The festival grounds are open until 11 pm on Friday night, but you’ll want to get some sleep for the next day’s activities.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, runners can take part in the 35th annual Potato Stomp. Runners of all ages can compete in a variety of races, from a one-mile fun run to a 3.5 Mile and 9 mile race, all of which start at the High School. The one-mile race starts at 8:30 am, with the other races at 9 pm. Preregistration is available, all proceeds will benefit Crestwood High School Track & Cross Country and other community programs.
Later that day, the Potato Festival Bake-Off will be held at Buchert Park, on High Street, west of Rt. 44 in Mantua. Entries will be accepted at the VFW Lodge from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Judging will begin at 4:30 pm, with results and the auction at 6:00 pm on Stage 2 on the festival grounds. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Crestwood Community Cupboard (4Cs). Categories include: appetizers, soups, salads, desserts/candy, vegetables, main dishes, breads, sweet potatoes. Saturday also brings a corn hole tournament, French fry eating contest, and potato sack races. Music and fun continue until the festival closes at midnight.
The midway opens at noon on Sunday for the final day of the festival. One of the day’s highlights is the Potato Festival Parade, which starts at 2 pm. In addition to games, rides and traditional foods like Potato Pancakes, the rest of the day is devoted to a mashed eating contest for all ages, and parade awards, followed by the grand prize drawing. The 40th Potato Festival will end at 7 pm. Mark your calendar, and plan to help celebrate. Leave your rubies at home, but feel free to bring your russets or red-skins. Find out more at mantuapotatofestival.com.