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Community winter festival features the humble potato

Evah Roloson, 4, enjoys the craft table at the Milford Potato Festival.

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
The humble potato was top spud in Milford Saturday as the community celebrated the tuber vegetable at the Milford Town Hall.

On the menu for the Milford Potato Festival was an array of potato-themed foods, such as fries, poutine, baked potatoes and potato chowder, as well as a small selection of desserts. While the hot food was a draw for everyone, the young children were kept occupied with a craft and a games table.

Organized by the South Marysburgh Recreation Board, Milford’s Potato Festival, now in its second year, came about when the Recreation Board needed something to replace the winter carnival the community had enjoyed for many years.

A series of mild winters meant activities such as ice skating on the mill pond were not longer possible and so the decision to forego the winter carnival was made said board member Sandie Blackford. The idea for a potato festival was Blackford’s when the potato idea came to her one night while sleeping.

The family-friendly community event saw an appearance by South Marysburgh councillor John Hirsch, as well as Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson.

Evah Roloson’s completed craft project.

A well-organized craft table contained all the necessary parts for constructive craft making, such as felt shapes, stick-on googly eyes, colourful feathers, fuzzy balls, stickers and coloured felt-tipped pens, along with squares of felt, coloured construction paper and plenty of glue.

Community volunteer Carol Branscombe kept things organized and offered a helping hand to those needing a little inspiration for their project.

“I have worked with the Milford Fair for 18 years,” she said with a smile. Branscombe also helped out with showing children the art of potato stamping with the assortment of carved potato shapes, ranging from hearts to stars to a bird, which were painted and then stamped.

An assortment of carved potato shapes used for potato stamping

Games included a popular children’s potato game, and included potato charades later in the afternoon. Sheets were also provided for games using potatoes, such as the potato sword fight, pin the hat on the potato and hot potato. The festival kicked-off Friday night with bingo games.
Poor man’s potato soup, potato leek soup, and onion and potato pie were among the recipe sheets available to take home.

An example of canned potatoes was on display along with information on potatoes, including some fun facts: potatoes are grown in more than 125 countries; the potato was the first vegetable grown in space; the potato has been cultivated for at least 4,000 years; and potatoes are used to brew vodka.

Theo Cassels-Sword, 4, and Asher Roloson, 8, play the Mr. Potato Head game

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