POTATO DAYS FESTIVAL BARNESVILLE, MINNESOTA
Every five and six year old that enters the Miss Tator Tot contest is a winner. Every contestant receives a participation trophy and a chance to ride on the float during the Parade on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Prior to the pageant, the young girls take part in the information session and interviews. At this time, they are judged on poise, general knowledge, manners and responses.
Contestants must be 5-6 years of age as of September 1, 2022, and must live within and/or be enrolled in Barnesville School District. Judging is based on an interview, as well as modeling of "potato sack" attire and party dress.
A variety of equipment, spanning several decades, will be showcased on Friday and Saturday in front of the old Layton Potato Wash Plant, located on Highway 9 south, across from McGrath Park. Much of the equipment on display is between 80 and 100 years old.
Included in the collection is an old potato planter, walking potato plow, potato digger, and a Red River Potato Duster which was manufactured in Sabin, Minnesota in the early 1890's.
It's no time to be modest, you know you make great lefse...let the world know! Continuing as one of the most popular Potato Days events is the annual National Lefse Cook-Off. A Scandinavia tradition for decades, lefse is a Norwegian pastry made from potatoes, flour, butter and cream. It is widely prized as a delicious delicacy, whether served plain or with butter and sugar.
After the entrant's lefse sheets are judged on appearance, taste and texture, spectators will have an opportunity to taste the creations. Coffee and lefse will also be available for sale. Only 12 stations are available so register early!
What festival would be complete without a treasure hunt, in this case a hunt for the Golden Potato. Once again, this year the Golden Potato will be hidden somewhere within the Barnesville city limits. Whoever retrieves the potato and brings it to the Information booth will win a prize.
The object is to find the hidden potato by carefully reading the clues provided at various events. Beginning bright and early at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning clues will be posted at various festival sites. All ages are encouraged to read each of the clues and determine the location of the hidden golden potato.
We all know what a parade is, but the one at Potato Days is a big deal. Typically, over 170 units participate in the procession. Grab some bags for the kids to collect candy in, find a comfortable spot along the route, kick back, and enjoy the spectacle.
If you would like to be in the parade register here.
Boys and Girls, ages 5-11 are invited to take part in the Potato Car Races Friday evening. The activity will take place with all Potato Cars ready to race at 7:15 p.m., in the Friendship Park parking lot. Building of the potato cars starts at 6:30 p.m. Becoming increasingly popular every year, this is a great mix of art and sports. There is no fee to enter, and all the stuff needed to create an award winning race car is supplied. Prizes will be awarded in several different age categories. Pre-registration is not required. Come at 6:30p.m. to get your "spud"-car ready to race!
The Potato Picking Contest was the event that started the whole festival in 1938. Today, the Potato Picking event continues to attract people from miles around. The action, as tradition has it, will start at 9:30 AM on Saturday at the sound of a whistle whether rain or shine. For the older generation who remember picking potatoes by hand, it's fun to marvel at the speed and skill of the pickers. For the younger generation, it's a chance to see what back-breaking work is all about!
Limited to the first 12 contestants.
Cash prizes for the winners.
Front street is lined with rows of merchandise booths. In the past there have been such items as Victorian pictures, hand puppets, wind instruments, floral designs, wooden items, caricatures, Native American crafts, fur and leather products, rugs and quilts, sterling silver jewelry, hand-made cards, clothing items, purses, jewerly and hand-made furniture. With 150 vendors entering the show it is impossible to list all items, but rest assured, there is something for everyone.
One of several events dating back to the original Potato Days Festival is the Potato Peeling Contest. Although lots of things have changed over the decades and just about everything has become mechanized, the best way to peel a potato is still lots of elbow grease, a sharp knife or a good old fashioned potato peeler.
Each contestant is given three minutes to peel as many potatoes as possible. Potatoes must be peeled clean; however, eyes need not be removed. The winner will be determined by the total net weight (pounds of potatoes less pounds of peel).
Prizes will be given to the winners.
It actually is just what it sounds like. You roll around and wrestle in a giant tub of mashed potatoes. Grab a friend or three, head on over, and find out who the king or queen of the tater is.
At 11:30 am on Saturday, two-man teams will be lined up behind the main stage downtown to be timed on how fast they can sew and stack ten, 100-pound burlap bags of potatoes. They will have to do this the old-fashioned way - using a large needle and heavy string, then piling the bags crisscross on a wooden pallet. A plaque will be awarded to 1st place teams.
The record time held is 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
Free games and contests for kids 12 and under. There's a whole lot of fun to be had hopping, racing, throwing, kicking, and battling on the tug-o-war rope. Prizes for winners and random drawings.
It's already implied by the title, but this is a miniature parade focused on the kids. Anyone is welcome to participate, and parents can certainly accompany their little ones down the runway. Make it your own by dressing up in costumes, painting faces, wearing goofy hairstyles, etc. There are no requirements or specifications. You also have the option of using or even decorating strollers, wagons, trikes, pedal cars, and things of that nature. The Kiddie Parade route starts at the library parking lot, goes down Front Street, and ends at The Old Depot.
This party caps off the weekend with superb live music and a celebratory atmosphere. It is for ages 21+ as adult beverages are served. In 2022 the band rocking the garden will be Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome which features an ensemble of 6 horns, keyboard, drums, guitar, male & female vocals. Some of the artists and bands that they have covered in the past include Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Blues Brothers, Average White Band, Genesis, Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, James Brown, Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Swing Out Sister, David Sanborn, Brand New Heavies, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kool & The Gang, Isley Brothers, BB King, Maceo Parker, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, Rufus
Kick back and enjoy transportation the way our ancestors did. You'll be taken around town to see some historic landmarks as well as beautiful fall scenery by the lake and creek. Kids will think it's neat to be pulled behind such majestic animals and grown-ups can get some reprieve while also gaining a little perspective on our quaint town.
Age 12-Adult: $3
Ages 6-11: $2
Age 5 and under: free
Shape and color your mashed potato canvas into whatever your imagination comes up with. Just be sure it is something that will impress the judges if you have your eyes on the prize. If not, that's okay too as long as you had fun making it. Channel your inner Michelangelo to create a mashterpiece.
There's nothing like a good breakfast on Saturday morning to get you rolling for a full day of Potato Days fun! The Barnesville Knights of Columbus Potato Pancake Feed has become a tradition for many festival goers. Enjoy all-you-can-eat potato pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, juice, coffee and milk. Serving begins at 7:00 a.m. and runs until 11:00 a.m. at the Hildebrand Hall on Front Street.
Those wearing a Potato Days commemorative pin receive $1 off their meal.
Proceeds go to support the worthwhile projects in the area.
Po-ta-toes! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in stew!
If you were to attend Potato Days just for the food, it would still be worth it. There is a wonderful selection of gratifying snacks, drinks, and meals.
You can register to be a food vender here.
Quilt designers put the quality and appearance of their creations to the test by competing against one another at Potato Days. The quilts entered into the contest are on display, so all festival goers are able to admire the artistic craftsmanship.
Director Kaitlin Guetter sends her local Just for Kix Dancers out to perform a choreographed routine.
Barrel rides are a long-standing tradition in Barnesville as it is a timeless source of glee from children. Have your little spud hop in a cart to pulled behind the tractor. They will ask to go again and thank you for it later.
The Potato Scramble was originally started to help kids better understand how potatoes grow and are harvested.
The event is held in a potato field and follows the regular Potato Picking Contest. Ages 4 – 16 are given the opportunity to hunt for potatoes. In addition to taking home the potatoes they pick, there are specially marked potatoes that earn the pint size pickers a special prize.
No pre-registration required.
A lineup of classic, unique, and antique vehicles on display and competing for prizes. There may also be scooters, motorcycles, snowmobiles, or tractors in the special interest division. Come take a look at pieces of history as well as modern vehicles to be envious of.
Each contestant will have three chances to throw a 100-pound sack of potatoes as high as possible. New this year will be a combination age category: 14-18 and 65+ They will compete having three chances to throw a 50-pound sack of potatoes as high as possible.
Participants 18 and younger will have to sign a waiver that will be available at the Information Booth during the Festival.
There are prizes for the winners.
Continuing as part of the Potato Days Festival celebration and targeting the sports minded, the Jaynie (Herbranson) Halvorson Memorial 5K FunRun/Walk is set for Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. The course goes around scenic Blue Eagle Lake and continues to wind through the streets of Barnesville. Bring the whole family for some good exercise and fun!
Our race honors the memory of Jaynie (Herbranson) Halvorson, an extremely impactful and inspirational community member who had a passion for running and chaired our race for many years
Check-in for the run will be held at the Lions picnic shelter at Blue Eagle Lake located on the corner of 5th Avenue NE and 8th Street NE from 7:15 - 7:45 a.m. on Saturday.
The French Fry Feed will be held on Front Street just south of the Main Stage. It will be a perfect opportunity to taste firsthand some great Minnesota French fries, and at the same time, one can check out the many other delicious food stands in the adjacent Food Court.
Last year just over 1,000 servings of French fries were given out, free of charge, which amounted to over 600 pounds of potatoes! This year, come out and enjoy some french-fried tators on Friday night!
We'll see some well-groomed dogs show off their discipline and talents on the main stage. The categories being judged include;
1. Dog and Human Look Alike
2. Hollywood Formal
4. Dress as Another Animal
5. Potato Sack Costumes
6. Best Tricks
7. Best in Show
(Other than the potato sack costume category, attire can be made out of any material.)
$5 in Barnesville Bucks and a "doggie prize bag" the winners in each of the first six categories.
$25 in Barnesville Bucks and a "doggie prize bag". to the winner of Best in Show.
"Calling all Potato Lovers to the Mashed Potato Eating Contest!" Your goal, if you should choose to accept it, is to see how fast you can eat one bowl of taters. There is no entry fee and sign-up can be done right before the contest or you can pre-register. Only 10 contestants can compete in each category.
A prize is given to the winner in each category.
The VFW hosts both a Whist and Pinochle tournament during Barnesville's Potato Days. It's a very casual environment where you can socialize and play a fun game. Stop in and show us what you got.
Learn how to play Whist here.
Learn how to play Pinochle here.
As a solo artist, Pepper plays the classic hits from the ’60s, ’70s, & ’80s… using both acoustic and electric guitar to back up his smooth tenor voice.
Whether you’re looking for “classic dinner music,” or “sing-along-songs” for a happy hour, Pepper can produce a performance that proves a good time for all.
Head on up to the second floor of the old city hall building if you'd like to take a break from all the shopping and festivities to instead rack up a high score in the digital realm.
Duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh.
Little spuds will have a blast running, jumping, sliding, crawling, and climbing on these bouncy buildings made of air.
Cost information coming soon.
Unique and classic vehicles from the car show cruise out and precede the Potato Days Parade. Going to arrive at the parade route early? Be a lot cooler if you did.
Eric Newell and Leah Baker are a dynamic duo of vocals and guitar offering a wide array of songs from multiple genres. They are Barnesville locals who are frequently generous enough to entertain and bring a positive vibe to venues and events around the area.
Most of you know how to play Bingo. If you don't, there will most certainly be a bevy of friendly folk at this event who are more than willing to fill you in. It's a traditional game that you can enjoy in a comfortable, small-town atmosphere.
NWMA is coming to the stage to showcase their physical and mental prowess as well as demonstrate high flying, board destroying skills.
Performers from Suz Dance Studio will entertain the crowd with a multitude of sophisticated moves.
It's easy to envision horseshoe pitching taking place at the original rendition of Potato Days in the 1930s, so perhaps there's a bit of a legacy here. If you think you have some ringers in you then don't hesitate to be a participant.
Learn how to play Horseshoes here.
Hobby Hut hosts a unique event where remote-controlled cars test their metal on a track laden with mashed potato dunes.
If you consider yourself knowledgeable come over to the main stage for this event and demonstrate your brainpower. Kayla will be seeing who in the crowd has the answers to common questions.
This is your chance to meet and interact with some of the team from the KVLY television station.
Representatives from the Fargo zoo will have a showcase that kids and adults alike will find educational, interesting, and exciting.