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All Eyes on Mr. Potato Head® at 3rd Annual
Long Island Potato Festival

Riverhead, NY - July 22, 2016 - The Long Island Potato Festival is making its return for the 3rd year on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at Long Island Sports Park in Calverton, N.Y. with even more family fun. Potato fanatics will love the newest addition to the list of contests, a blindfolded Potato Head building race! Participants will have to sort through Potato Head attachments to find the correct pieces then accurately attach them to the corresponding areas on the toy without their vision to help them. Contestants with the greatest amount of pieces accurately placed after three minutes will be the winners. Attendees will also gather to sample a wide range of chips as well as other potato products and potato inspired beverages. With long Island’s rich potato farming history, event producers, Starfish Junction Productions, wanted to incorporate local farmers into the event as much as possible. Potato farmer Sang Lee Farms was added to the list of local potato producers this year and will be bringing an assortment of different types of potatoes for attendees to purchase. With over 1,500 potato lovers joining in on the fun at last year’s event, this year will bring more contests, more family activities, and of course more potatoes! Limited spaces are open for contestants who want to join other great contests such as:

Amateur Potato Salad Competition - Contestants will bring their favorite potato salad dishes to be judged by a panel of three potato connoisseur judges. Contestants will have their potato salads judged in four categories: presentation, creativity, use of potato, and overall taste. The creative possibilities are endless but the only restriction is every dish must contain potatoes. The winner of last year’s Amateur Potato Salad Competition was Patricia Noren of Lake Ronkonkoma with her Sweet Potato Salad.
Mashed Potato Sculpting Contest - Contestants are broken into three categories: adult division (18 and over), youth division (13-17), and children’s division (12 and under). Contestants are provided with mashed potatoes supplied by Wine Country Deli in Calverton, NY and are allowed to use any tools and materials to help sculpt a work of art with the exception of paint or food coloring. Sculptures will be left on display throughout the festival and will be voted on by festival attendees to determine a winner. Last year’s Mashed Potato Sculpting contest winners were Josiah of Commack in the child division, Valentina of West Islip in the youth division, and Christina Klein from Port Jefferson Station in the adult division.
The Great Potato Peeling Race - Teams of four contestants each go head to head in order to find out who can skin the most potatoes the quickest. A timer is set for five minutes and the teams begin peeling, when the timer goes off, the peeled potatoes get weighed to determine a winner. Besides having a winning team, a prize is also awarded for the individual who peeled the most potatoes by weight. Last year, team Peeling in Public took home the gold with a total weight of 16 lbs. and 4 oz. Angela Careccia, a member of team Peeling in Public exclaimed, “We have started practicing already so everyone better be afraid because we will be taking home our third trophy this year! “ The individual winner was Sinisa “Charly” Savnik of Mastic who peeled 5 lbs. and 8 oz. of potatoes on his own!
Mashed Potato Eating Contest - Hungry contestants are broken into three categories based on age: adults (16 and over), youth (10-15), and children (under the age of 9). Contestants are presented with a bowl of mashed potatoes, with children and youth bowls weighing in at one pound while adults get served two pounds of potatoes. Contestants will race to see who is victorious in eating their bowl of mashed potatoes the fastest and get crowned the mashed potato eating champion. Last year, the winner of the children’s division was Anthony from Bellmore who finished in 2 minutes and 58 seconds, while the youth division winner, Graham from Sayville completed in 3 minutes and 5 seconds. The adult division winner, Patrick Taylor of Levittown, took home the gold with a finishing time of 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

Hi-Res files available upon request. Contest photos can be found on the event website, LIPotatoFest.com. Photos by Karl Mischler.

It is suggested that contestants sign up in advance to participate in contests. Contest registration forms and more information on contests can be found on LIPotatoFest.com . The festival will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at the Long Island Sports Park, 149 Edwards Ave., Calverton, NY from 11am until 4pm. Tickets can be purchased on the event website for $20 plus tax and fees. Children are admitted free of charge (12 and under)! Fun children’s activities will be held though out the day in addition to the contests listed.

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