The countdown is on — there’s only one week until Mantua’s Potato Festival. Organizers have been working tirelessly since last fall to pull together a fabulous weekend that will bring back the history in this 44th annual local event. Along with the usual foods, carnival rides, and musical acts, festival-bakers hope to create a world-record, 150-pound pierogi.
In addition, they’ll be bringing back some old-fashioned activities, including the crowning of a festival queen, bucket brigade and a tug-of-war contest. Interested potential potato queens, (CHS students between the ages of 15 – 18) may pick up applications at Middlefield Bank, Jake’s, or Mantua Station Drug to compete for scholarship prizes. And on Saturday morning, be sure to check out the 39th annual Potato Stomp 1-mile fun run, 4-mile or 9-mile road race, a time-honored tradition. Registration information is available at mantuapotatostomp.com. But the new and improved festival has some new activities in store, as well.
On Friday, September 8th, and at various times throughout the weekend, Duke’s K9 Dash N Splash will be moving their pool over to the festival, giving local water-loving dogs the opportunity to try out dock-diving. No registration is required, but dogs must bring their people with them to give it a try. Friday evening and in between Splashes on Saturday and Sunday, your dog will get 3 minutes at a time on the dock with specially-trained staff to assist them in the sport of dog dock diving for $10 per day. Find more information at Dukesk9dashnsplash.com, by calling 330-485-DOCK or at their tent at the Potato Festival.
If motorcycles are your thing, why not check out the Potato Festival’s 1st Motorcycle Dice Run. The event will be held at Mantua Corners Bar & Grill, with registration beginning at 9:30 am. Coffee and donuts will be available before the ride, with kickstands up by 10:30 am. A light lunch will be provided half way through the ride — registration is $20 per bike, $10 per rider, and other vehicles are welcome. The Dice Run will end at the festival Main Stage, where Amanda Jones & The Family Band (A.C. Jones) will perform. For further information, visit the Mantua Potato Festival Facebook page.
In addition, this year’s festival will introduce a Cornhole Tournament — registration is $20 per each two-person team for all who would like to participate. In addition to bragging rights, winners will take home commemorative t-shirts and cash prizes. Find out more at www.mantuapotatofestival.org/cornhole .
As usual, the festival high point on Sunday is the parade, which will kick off at 2 pm at Crestwood High School, and conclude at the festival grounds. This year’s Grand Marshall is Dean Stebbins from F & S Automotive, celebrating 50 years in business in Mantua. For more parade information, or to register your vehicle or organization, contact Debbie Benjamin at (330) 618-5156.
As always, the festival committee meets every Thursday evening at their building in Buchert Park from 6 – 8 pm. Individuals and organizations looking to help make this year’s festival the best yet are encouraged to stop by or to give Brian Perkins a call at (330) 352-6099.