Idaho Potato Tour rolls through QA’s
KENT NARROWS — What began in 2012 as a one-year campaign to celebrate the 75 years the Idaho Potato Commission has been in existence is now on its fifth trip across the country spreading the word about the state’s famous spuds in a giant potato truck.
Making their way to Washington, D.C., for the annual Arlington National Memorial Day Parade on May 30, Ivan Ellis and Larry Bathe arrived in Queen Anne’s County with the giant potato truck on Thursday, May 26, and spent the night in the Fisherman’s Crab Deck parking lot before leaving for the nation’s capital Friday morning.
Bathe and Ellis are part of a three-man team called the “Tater Team” and informally go by the nickname “Spud Studs,” they said.
Ellis, host of the popular online adventure series the “Fireball Run” (www.fireballrun.com), was invited to stay in Grasonville after meeting Crab Deck owner Jody Schulz, who participated in the show last season, “Fireball Run: Space Race.” Schulz’s partner for the race was friend Dave Siciliano.
Residents turned out Thursday evening and Friday morning to see the giant potato, get their pictures taken with it and ask questions.
Ellis, talking with spectators surrounding the giant spud, said during the offseason of the web series he works to promote Idaho potatoes as he is from the state, among other traveling related jobs. Ellis handed out fliers with information about the truck and the giant potato it carries.
The replica potato is 28 feet long, 12 feet wide and 11 and a half feet tall, taking almost a year to complete its construction. For a potato to grow to that size, the flier indicates, it would take more than 10,000 years to grow and would take two years and nine months to bake. The 12,000-plus pound potato is about equal to 32,346 medium-sized Idaho potatoes, it said, and is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown at 11 pounds.
If the 6-ton Idaho potato were real, it would contain 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes and 1.4 million french fries.
The Idaho Potato Commission was founded in 1937 with the goal of promoting and protecting the “Grown in Idaho” seal, according to the Big Idaho Potato website. The seal is a registered trademark that assures customers that they are eating the highest quality Idaho potatoes.
Jaden Frazier and Javon frazier stopped to check out the giant Idaho potato truck the morning of Friday, May 27, before the truck made its way to Washington, D.C. for the Memorial Day Parade.