Mantua – Once again, on the weekend after Labor Day, (September 9th – 11th), it’s time for Mantua’s 43rd annual Potato Festival. As in years past, this down-home affair will have all the contests and activities you’ve come to expect. But this year, make plans to come down to Buchert Park to find out what new surprises are in store. For fans of fair food, it’s the place to be. For fans of all food, make sure to sign up for the potato chip, mashed potato, or French fry eating contests to get your fill of those spud-filled treats, as well.

Kids kindergarten through grade two can enter the annual coloring contest, while kids in grades three through five can decorate a potato for a chance to win fabulous prizes. This year, a petting zoo will be added to the mix, along with the usual beer tent, raffles, and carnival rides locals have come to expect. In addition to live music and a DJ, the Mantua Police will provide a K-9 demo, the MSFD will announce the winner of their gun raffle. You won’t want to miss the 9/11 Memorial Parade on Sunday, September 11th. The patriotic presentation will be followed by a tractor show to celebrate Mantua’s agricultural heritage.

The fun begins on Friday, September 9th at 6 pm with an opening ceremony hosted by the American Legion Post 193  and the Crestwood High School Choir. The potato chip eating contest takes place at 7 pm. Later that night, the band My Drunken Uncle will perform on Stage #1, while DJ Chuck will take Stage #2.

Saturday, September 10th is when the Potato Stomp occurs. Runners from across Northeast Ohio join local runners for this annual road race. The one-mile fun run begins at 8:30 am, while the 4-mile and 9-mile races begin promptly at 9 am. Race day registration begins at 7:30 am at Crestwood High School, and local business Star Therapy will pay the entrance fee for any Crestwood student who wants to participate. For more information on the race, visit

After the race, the festival grounds open at 10 am. K-9 demonstrations will take place at 1 and 5 pm, and the band Been a Long Time will perform on Stage #1 from 2:30 – 6 pm. The mashed potato eating contest will take place at 7 pm that night. The band Invincible will perform at 7:30 on Stage #1, while DJ Chuck will take over Stage #2 until the festival ends at midnight.

The festival grounds open at 1 pm on Sunday. The 9/11 Memorial Parade will step off from Crestwood High School at 2 pm, followed by a Tractor Show at the festival grounds. The Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department will be on hand to draw the winning ticket for their Gun Raffle, as well. At 3 pm, the winners of the coloring and potato decorating contests will be announced. That afternoon, the band Midlife Crisis will take Stage #1. At 5pm, make sure to enter the French fry eating contest. But if greasy fries aren’t your thing, the 50/50 raffle winner will be drawn at that time, as well, so make plans to be there.

For more information on the Mantua Potato Festival, visit them on Facebook.