San Luis Valley Potato Festival is set for Sept. 9
Courtesy photos The 15th annual SLV Potato Festival is set for Sept. 9 at Chapman Park in Monte Vista. It will have a variety of vendors and activities for all ages.
MONTE VISTA — The 15th annual SLV Potato Festival, in honor of potato harvest, is set for Sept. 9 at Chapman Park in Monte Vista.
Fall is in the air and the festival will be in town with many event favorites, including the Tater Trot, guided Ag Tours, Chef Demonstrations, and the Mashed Potato Dunk Tank. There will also be dozens of craft and food vendors set up in the park.
The Potato Festival is a way for people to gain a better perspective on how the main crop of the San Luis Valley, potatoes, are planted, fertilized, grown, and harvested. There are two agricultural tours that are set to take place this year, one from 8 a.m. and returning at 11 a.m., and the other from 1 p.m. and returning at 4 p.m. Both tours will include a comprehensive look at how potatoes are grown and harvested and will allow the public to also ask growers and researchers questions about the crop. The tours are free but availability for the tours is limited; pre-register for the tours online.
The Potato Festival also hosts the Tater Trot; it also requires registration. The cost for this event is $25 and benefits the San Luis Valley Pediatric Diabetes Patients. T-shirts are limited and will be available while supplies last to participants.
The SLV Potato Festival is family friendly and every year the festival provides activities for children, including a bouncy house, the ever-popular colored train on wheels, that tours around the park with lots of children riding on it. The train is complete with a conductor in the front.
Every year, Chef Demonstrations are also given. There are also potato recipes that are shared. There will also be tractors at the park for the public to see. All in celebration of the harvest.
The San Luis Valley is rich in potatoes and is the second largest fresh potato region in the United States. San Luis Valley growers and shippers along with the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC) have developed regulations for quality, and advanced growth practices, to ensure that potatoes in Colorado meet specified standards for food security and quality taste.
Potato growers and shippers advertise their commodity and store the potatoes in warehouses with likeminded growers and shippers for future vending. Approximately 20 warehouses ship and package potatoes in the Valley. Potatoes can go from warehouse to truck, without uncovering them and exposing them to outdoor elements. Approximately 95% are sent to fresh markets both locally and throughout the country.
For more information on the festival, visit coloradopotato.org.