Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, fried potatoes … Oh, my!
Potato lovers and carboholics alike will have an opportunity to celebrate the North Fork’s agricultural roots at the first ever Long Island Potato Festival.
Planned for Sunday, August 10 at the Peconic Bay Winery property in Cutchogue, culinary artists, experts and eaters are invited to compete in various contests showing off the many attributes of the starch, including mashed potato sculpting, mashed potato eating, a “Great Potato Peeling Race,” and the best potato salad.
“By producing the Long Island Potato Festival, we will bring together potato aficionados for their favorite foods, a fun-day, and help raise awareness of Long Island’s potato crop before land development, high production costs and blight significantly decreased potato acreage,” said Kristyn Dolan, marketing manger for Starfish Junction Productions, which is hosting the event.
A portion of proceeds will go toward the event’s charity partner, the Alzheimer’s Association, as they raise money for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Kids will have their own contests to keep them busy, including potato sack races, potato spoon balancing races, and ‘Mr. Potato Head’ decorating using real potatoes.
The day will include live music, demonstrations of cooking with potatoes and making potato vodka, and displays of new and antique farm equipment.
Food and drinks will be available from a variety of vendors and food trucks, with free tastings available at several of the exhibits.
In the late 1940s, about 70,000 acres was dedicated to growing potatoes on Long Island, with more than 1,000 farmers who produced an average of eight tons of potatoes per acre.
Today, only 2,500 acres of potatoes are being cultivated, some by members of the island’s original potato farming families.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine under tents at the vineyard. Tickets for the Long Island Potato Festival will be sold for $20 each and include admission to the festival plus access to free programs, contests, activities, live music, and free parking. They can be purchased at LIPotatoFest.com.
Children under age 12 will be admitted free with a ticket available on the website, and active duty service members, veterans and volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters can also receive a special ticket offer available on the website.
Peconic Bay Winery is located at 3120 Main Road in Cutchogue.