I'm a day late in posting but here are this week's finds among the many food oriented festivals.
Jello wrestling is so passe! But, have you tried wallowing around in mashed potatoes? You can give it a shot (or a dive, belly flop, what have you) at Tater Daze in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota tomorrow. For the 46th year, this is the day the residents there pay homage to the potato, a crop that truly flourishes in their flat, sandy soil. This "sporting event " is actually one of three sanctioned by the MPWF - Mashed Potato Wrestling Federation. (I kid you not.) Too sloppy for you? Then try your skill at Potato Launching using a sling shot to compete for distance and accuracy.
Just looking to be more creative? Try taking part in the "Dress the Spud" Contest where you must creatively dress your potato (Please be appropriate. No nudity, etc.) There's also a "Hot Potato" Cooking Contest where you can try your hand at recipes featuring regular or sweet potatoes as the main ingredient in dishes in any of three categories - main dishes, sides or dessert/bread.
Children's activities take place in the Potato Patch where they can do the Tater Mash Dance or participate in a Potato Sack Race. Anybody can have their picture taken with Spud McTater.
With the economy being what it is, sponsors feared they would need to do away with the fireworks display Saturday night until they came up with this creative financing method. For $5 you can "Buy a Spud". Your money buys a potato with your name on it that will be displayed at City Hall and at the Festival. What a way to help keep the fireworks bursting in air!!!
Prefer Moon Pie and an RC Cola?
Then find your way to Bell Buckle, Tennessee for the 16th Annual RC and Moon Pie Festival. An RC King and Moon Pie Queen with the RC Prince and Moon Pie Princess will reign over a parade. The Royal Family will be a family from Middle Tennessee who lost everything in the May 1st flood. For this weekend, they'll live the royal life with free lodging and dining.
Activities like a Moon Pie Toss, Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest and and Hog Calling Competition should convince you you're in the South. That is, if the moon pie and RC in your hands hasn't told you that already!
The truly unique event of this festival is the Synchronized Wading Extravaganza featuring costumed characters like Moon Pie, RC, Goo Goo Cluster and Coke performing in a comical choreographed show performed in a kiddie pool!
The final event of the day will be the cutting and serving of the World's Largest Moon Pie, measuring 56" in diameter.
You say "Tomato", I say "Tomahto" - Let's just head for the Slocomb Tomato Festival in Slocomb, Alabama, instead. Slocomb is considered the Tomato Capital of the World and this event celebrates the importance of the tomato to this community. There are plenty of fried green tomatoes, a tomato eating contest and an All-You-Can-Eat Tomato Buffet featuring nothing but tomatoes! Oh yeah, there's also a parade, live music, a recipe contest and a Ms. Tomato Pageant.
Happy Thanksgiving, Serious Eaters! - With the Thanksgiving preparation madness winding down, and the cooking madness about to begin, I have to take a moment to reflect on the many, many things...