Tater Daze in Brooklyn Park starts today: Mashed potato wrestling and more


mashed potato wresting action!
mashed potato wresting action!

Early settlers in Brooklyn Park found the soil to be a welcome place to grow potatoes, and now it is time to celebrate. Tater Daze, an annual celebration of the spud, starts today and runs through Sunday. Besides mashed potato wrestling, here's what you'll find there.

Events include a parade, 5K run, carnival, and mashed potato events! Saturday, mashed potato wrestling will be open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m., and matches sanctioned by the Mashed Potato Wrestling Federation (MPWF)--yes, that is a real organization-- will start at 6 p.m.

The Mashed Potato Wrestling Foundation has Minneapolis roots. Local video producer, comedian, and musician Steve Barone, a.k.a. Steve-O Gratin,  is the reigning champion and leader of the MPWF. Barone will be attending but not participating in Tater Daze's matches, since this is their first year of wrestling. Nonetheless, he had this to say about being champ: "I'm the reigning champ because one, I made the federation up, and two, 'cause I say so. All stupid fun really." According to a 2007 article in the New York Times, Barone/Gratin (he turns into Gratin when he steps into the ring) had one sage piece of advice to avoid trauma while in the pit: Do not inhale mashed potatoes into your lungs.

The potato party is getting started tonight at 6:30 p,m with a parade led by Grand Marshall Volcanus Rex LXVII, the "Fire King" of the St. Paul Winter Carnival..

We will leave you with this mashed potato wrestling video--starring Steve Barone--to get you psyched. And here is your complete guide to Tater Daze.

For the entire New York Times article follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/dining/14spud.html

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