Growing up in Utah, I always knew Idaho was famous for its potatoes. Mostly because it said so on the Idaho license plates. Little did I know that Idahoans love and celebrate their potatoes. I've lived here in Idaho Falls for 3 years now, and last year I discovered a little celebration in the small town of Shelley, 15 minutes from where we live. So, we went. Last year it was miserable, cold, rainy and windy and we didn't stay long. But I remember being really amazed at the turnout of people on such a yucky day. We watched the parade from our car and saw a huge line of people standing there waiting to get a free baked potato on our way out.
Well, last weekend, it was Shelley potato day again, and I was excited to go. The weather was beautiful and I was looking forward to taking Rebecca to her first parade. And what a first parade it was!! I was cracking up the whole time. Where else in the world do they have spud harvesting tractors going down the street in a parade? They had little trains with kids in them dressed in potato bags, with posters on the side boasting their potato pride. My personal favorites were "Darth Tater," "Spudzilla," and the float entitled "Tater Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The Shelley Russett Cheerleaders were there too. Those lucky kids who grow up in Shelley--they get out of school for 2 weeks to harvest the beloved spuds and then have this lovely celebration to end it all!! I'm feeling a little deprived that we do not have a celebrated fruit or vegetable or SOMETHING in Utah!
Well, after the parade, there are all these booths set up with crafts and other interesting things I love to look at. Also lots of good food. But my favorite thing is the spud races. Yes, they see who can pick up the most potatoes the fastest. It's great. Then they give out free baked potatoes with all the toppings. It is quite the festive day in the otherwise sleepy little town of Shelley. I don't know why it cracks me up so much that they go to all of this effort over potatoes, but it really does. It was a fun day, one of the true joys of living in Idaho.