Barnesville’s Potato Days helps remember the town’s past

Barnesville has a history tied to the potato and they're honoring that heritage with their Potato Days festival this weekend.

BARNESVILLE, Minn. (KVRR) – The town is joining together for food, fun and potato activities.

The event traces back to the 1930s.

“It’s very interesting the history of the potato in this town. Historically Barnesville was a potato growing community, grew a lot of potato’s around the region here,” Potato Days Festival Executive Director Jeff Swenson said.

This event pays homage to their roots

“We want to stay true to the past, true to tradition so we want to keep a lot of the old fun traditions alive, the mash potato things, the potato picking, things like that,” Swenson said.

He says growing up in Barnesville the Potato Days Festival has always been personal to him, he’s always had an appreciation for it, but now running it, he sees the impact that it has on the community around him. Along with that they’re also evolving to keep up with the younger generation.

“But at the same time you want to grow and stay fresh and have something new every year, right?” Swenson said.

They have added bouncy houses, a potato sack race, and a boys vs girls tug of war battle.

“They had a lot of our volleyball players,” said Bridger Grabow said.

“It was definitely harder than I thought it was going to be,” said Spencer Fronning said.

“Yeah, they got the old high school girls so it’s kind of hard,” said Brant Cox said.

The guys went in with a strong strategy.

“Three, two, one pull, so we all get momentum going. That worked for a little bit but then it stopped,” Grabow said .

They have been coming to the festival since they were babies.

“It’s just a really fun time to come out here and hang with your friends and just have fun,” Fronning said.

“There’s a lot of things to do, it’s a good town,” Cox said.

The Moorhead Lions face painting station was a hit.

“We love doing this when we come out every year on this one. We look forward to it. Kids come in and they love to get their faces painted. We also do crazy hair which kind of goes together with it. You have to experience everything they have, everything from potato peeling and mashed potato eating, and free French fries, it’s definitely an experience,” Sue Hauglid said.

If you couldn’t make it out for the first day activities will be ramping back up Saturday afternoon.

Categories: Community, Entertainment, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead