Idaho Potato Tour rolls through QA’s

Record Observer - - Community -

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.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

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.

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