2017 San Luis Valley Potato Festival Sees Big Changes

By Savannah Schlaufman

The 2017 San Luis Valley Potato Festival will be held September 9 in Monte Vista, CO. The Festival is held each year to celebrate the potato harvest and the potato industry in the San Luis Valley.

This year’s festival has some big changes and promises to be the biggest yet!

Country music artist Brooke Eden will be playing this year’s first ever concert at Ski Hi Park Arena! Tickets are $15, and available to purchase online at coloradopotatoes.eventbrite.com or at the Colorado Potatoes office in Monte Vista (1305 Park Avenue). Randall Rahn kicks off the show at 5 PM. There will be food available from Mountain View Restaurant and beer from A&L Coors.

The Potato Festival kicks off at 8am with the Tater Trot 5K Fun Run. This 5K is put on by the Monte Vista Recreation Department and features potato-themed obstacles such as the potato-sack-hop and mashed potato crawl. Each participant will receive a commemorative towel for participating and be entered for a chance to win other prizes!

From 8am until 4pm, Chapman Park in Monte Vista will feature a host of Potato Festival activities. There will be food and craft vendors, reptiles from the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, Antique Tractors from the Antique Iron Club, and a Truck and Semi Show. The San Luis Valley Community Band will be performing at 10 AM. There is also plenty of fun for children. There will be bouncy houses, a rock- climbing wall, a trampoline quad-jump, mini-train rides, an archery demonstration and workshop put on by Bucks ‘N Bulls at 1pm, the famous mashed potato dunk tank at 2pm, plus many more kid’s games, all free to the public.

Chef Demonstrations are a long-time tradition at the San Luis Valley Potato Festival. This year, there will be four chef demonstrations. Chef Greg Sever, the Executive Chef for Morning Star Assisted Living will begin the demonstrations at 11am, followed by Chef Kevin Clarke, Director of the Colorado Mountain College Apprenticeship program at 12pm. Chef Klaus Krebs, Executive Chef of the Isle of Capris in Black Hawk will demonstrate at 1pm, followed by Chef JP Krause, Executive Chef for Denver Children’s Hospital at 2pm.

Those who attend will also get to interact with the Chefs and sample their delicious potato recipes.

Back by popular demand, there will be agricultural tours for those wishing to learn more about the Colorado potato industry. The San Luis Central Railroad will be offering narrated train rides where participants can ride the train from Fullenwider Park past various potato fields. The rides will take approximately one hour and will depart from Fullenwider Park at 11am and 2pm.

There will also be a Field and Farm tour departing from Chapman Park at 8am and returning at 11am. Hosted by the Executive Director of Colorado Potatoes, Jim Ehrlich, this tour will visit a local grower’s field and the San Luis Valley Research Center. Passengers will get to talk directly with growers and researchers, and get to see firsthand how potatoes are grown in the San Luis Valley. Spaces on all agricultural tours can be reserved through the Colorado Potatoes office at (719) 852-3322.

For the complete schedule and more information, visit the festival website.


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