Every year, community members from Shelley and people from all over Eastern Idaho come to celebrate the state’s famous crop, the potato.
Shelley, Idaho hosts Spud Days and brings in thousands of people each year.
“This is our 85
th year that we’ve done this and it’s just transpired into a big celebration and it’s a lot of fun, pretty festive too,” said Keith Gardner, board member with the Kiwanis Club.
“It’s just a great day to come celebrate with your family, your friends, we got dogs, we got bikes, we got it all here,” said Chris Sheetz, Chairwoman of Spud Days.
There’s activities and fun all day long. Most are free. Some ask for a few donations for their charity. There is a parade with a Ping-Pong drop, vendors, food, the potato-picking contest, which is an original event, a reptile show, a demolition derby and of course free potatoes.
There are 65 hundred baked potatoes here today and lines of people waiting to try them and I’ve got one, and let’s go taste it.
Spud Days is also like a pre-celebration for harvest break when students get out for two weeks of school and help farmers pick potatoes.
It keeps growing each year with new activities and new people. Beautiful weather adds to this successful event.
Chris Sheetz is the current Chairwoman of Spud Days and says that she really couldn’t have planned this event without the cole hundreds of volunteers and donations. She feels gratitude towards them.
“It really takes a lot of work to have a successful event and the Spud Day committee is just awesome and they give a lot of their time and effort,” said Sheetz.
It takes 6 months in advance to plan out.
“I enjoyed Spud Days a whole lot as a young boy growing and thought, here’s a chance to keep this tradition going so that’s why I’m involved,” said Gerald Searle, former Chairman of Spud Days.
Rick Jensen is a local here at Shelley and has been coming ever since he was a kid. He loves the food.
“When I was younger, it was the rides and the food but I don’t do the rides anymore, just the food,” said Jensen, a Shelley resident.
And people keep coming back because of their favorites.
“I really like the food. The potatoes are really good and I like the shows that they have on the stage and all the stands,” said Kyle Bascom, a Chubbuck resident.
“I like the Ping-Pong drop and the parade. It was pretty cool and fun to watch,” said Melinda Hill, an Idaho Falls resident.
“There’s a lot of fun things to do. Got great food selection, got the Spud tug, you got the potato picking. It’s a lot of fun to come around, walk around. Like he said, see people, hangout with friends and family so nice tradition, Shelley proud,” said Chase Hanson, a Shelley resident.
Let’s not forget one of the most exciting events out of the whole day.
The Spud tug.
It attracts spectators from all heights.
Cement trucks come and fill a deep rectangular pit in the ground with mashed potatoes.
Before contestants competed, Ms. Russet herself, jumped into the pit.
You can be almost any age to participate in the tug-of –war. Kids, teenagers and adults compete on teams of 6 by age category.
Crowds of cheering, laughter and more tugging. Even some missionaries from the LDS church competed and threw themselves in with their suits.
“It’s a wonderful day, everybody should be here. If you haven’t been here before, you need to come,” said Jensen.
Spud Days happens every year on the third Saturday of September.