Barnesville Potato Days--the place to be for mashed potato wrestling

Although it is hard to compete with the first weekend of the fair, if you really love potatoes--I mean love them so much you want to roll around in a giant pile of mashed potatoes wearing a polyester singlet--Barnesville Potato Days might just lure you away from the midway.

This two day event, which dates back to the '30s, is not content with being just another summer food festival. Since 1999, it has featured mashed potato wrestling, endorsed by the Mashed Potato Wrestling Federation. This organization, led by local musician, filmmaker, and comedian Steve Barone--known in the wrestling world as Steve O'Gratin--is thought to one of the foremost mashed potato wrestling events in the country. Gratin's best piece of wrestling advice: Don't inhale potatoes while wrestling in the pit--that's a bitch.

The potato wrestling details:

There is no entry fee, and contestants will choose their own partners. Competition will be limited to the first 12 pairs to sign up. Each pair will wrestle two three-minute rounds with a one-minute break between rounds. A shirt will be awarded to each participant. For more information on becoming a wrestler, contact Wrestling Chairmen Hugh Trowbridge: 701.261-9877, or the Spudline: 800.525.4901.

Let it be noted that no food is wasted from the potato wresting contest because the wrestled-upon potatoes are fed to local cattle. Potato Days also features a potato sack fashion contest, potato car races, mashed potato sculpting, and more. And, of course, potatoes to be eaten, including:

  • potato sausage
  • lefse
  • potato dumplings
  • au gratins
  • rommegrot
  • and potato chip cookies (!)

Barnesville Potato Days
When: Friday, August 27, and Saturday, August 28
Where: Events take place throughout Barnesville
Here is a schedule and a map to Barnesville

Watch Steve O'Gratin defend his title at Barnesville in this video:

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