Mantua – Mark your calendar for the 46th Potato Festival, which takes place in Mantua the weekend after Labor Day.

In addition to the rides, games of chance, and fun fair foods, potato chip and mashed potato eating contests you’ve come to expect, this year’s festival has even more to offer. If you love a great live band experience, then you’re in for a real treat. First up on the festival’s list of musical performers is the Cars tribute band Moving in Stereo, which take the stage in Buchert Park on Friday, September 6th from 7 – 11 pm.

On Saturday, the Allegiance Band performs on from 2:30 – 6:30 pm, bringing their mix of country, rock and blues to the stage during daylight hours. Later, My Drunken Uncle is set to deliver their own mix of high-energy rock-n-roll music from the 70s, 80s and today from 7:30 – 11:30 pm. And last, but certainly not least, Wanted, a Bon Jovi tribute band will complete the festival’s entertainment line-up when they take the stage on Sunday at 3 pm.

Throughout the weekend, the Portage County Soap Box Derby folks will be at the Potato Fest all weekend long to help introduce the young person in your life to a fun sport he or she may not have considered. Be sure to look for their booth for the opportunity to check out some Soap Box Derby cars and sign up for a chance to take one for a spin. 

Once again, the Potato Festival will host a Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, and the competition will be fierce. To sign up, pick a partner, grab your beanbags and sign up at www.mantuapotatofestival.org/cornhole. By pre-registering for the event, a spot will be held for your team on tournament day; registration fee is $10 per team.

Another new opportunity at this year’s festival is the first-ever craft station. Hosted by Let’s Get Creative, an art studio in Garrettsville, Kelly Zander will help adult and teen participants craft their own Ohio-themed artwork for your home. You can craft your own piece for $15, or add a frame to it for just $20. And for younger artists, she’ll also have another crafting project on hand.  

As always, be sure to be there on Sunday afternoon for the parade to the Festival grounds. Trucks, floats, and the Crestwood Scarlet Guard Marching Band are perennial favorites, but if you’d like to be in the Grand Parade, email Parade.mantuapotatofest@gmail.com to find out how you can join in this annual tradition.

For the full event schedule, visit www.mantuapotatofestival.org/events. 

Photo: Let’s Get Crafty will show participants how to create their own Ohio-themed artwork at this year’s Mantua Potato Festival.