Houlton Potato Feast Days

The 7,000-person town of Houlton’s biggest and oldest (1959) event of the year is the Potato Feast, which occurs the last week in August. While it’s packed with various events from fun runs to arts & crafts to livestock exhibits, the most unique are their potato events. First there’s the Potato Picking Contest, where people are judged by how fast they can pick potatoes from their earthen rows and fill a bucket. “It’s the old-fashioned way,” says Becky MacIlroy, the Secretary at the Chamber of Commerce and a devout potato lover. “Not everyone can achieve greatness here,” she says. “It takes a strong back, since it requires a lot of bending and the ability to move fast.”

But the main event is the Potato Barrel Rolling contest, which is the traditional method of moving heavy potato-filled barrels. The participants roll a barrel up and down a mound of dirt that has two wooden planks placed on both sides, and then they rush it across the finish line. The winner takes a crisp $150. Not bad for muscling a bunch of spuds. Potato Feast Days is free to the public and annually attracts around 2,000 people


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