It’s Back! The Big Idaho® Potato Truck Has Officially Started Its 6th National Tour
The Big Idaho® Potato Truck is back on America’s highways promoting Idaho’s most famous agricultural product, the Idaho® potato. In just six months, the Truck will log 23,000 miles, stop in more than 60 cities both large and small and be photographed millions of times by spud lovers across the country. The Truck’s popular “A Big Helping” charitable program will continue to support local non-profits across the country.
“When we launched the Truck six years ago, it was intended to be a one year campaign. Instead, the Truck became an overnight sensation – reminding consumers at every turn to look for the ‘Grown in Idaho®’ seal, which is prominently featured on the side of cab,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “We placed several other graphics on the Truck to communicate important key messages such as the Idaho® potato’s certification by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food; the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl logo, the premier cold-weather college football bowl game; Spuddy Buddy, the Idaho® potato mascot; and important nutrition facts.”
The Truck’s first national appearance is the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, GA. Other stops throughout the summer include the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC., the Potato Chip Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY and the NASCAR Pocono Raceway Cup Series. To view the entire calendar visit www.bigidahopotato.com. If you can’t see it in person, there are a few other ways to stay connected…
•BigIdahoPotato.com is the Truck’s official website that has a calendar listing all the Truck’s stops.
•Potatotracker.com provides a live feed of the oversized spud, allowing visitors to see where it is any time of day.
The Tater Team
There are people who travel with the Truck and they are the Tater Team.
•Jessica – Jessica, who is new to the Tour this year, is an Idaho native and University of Idaho graduate. She is a travel enthusiast and has lived in Costa Rica, Barcelona and NYC! When she’s not traveling, Jessica enjoys meeting new people, trying local cuisine, and photography. She believes everyday should be an adventure and embraces change and new scenery. She is excited to go on the Idaho potato tour with her best friend Kaylee and promote her home state and favorite vegetable!
•Kaylee – This is Kaylee’s first year as a Tater Team member. She is a Boise State University graduate and can’t wait to share her love of Idaho with America. Kaylee is very passionate about traveling and has lived abroad in Spain as well as traveled across Europe and in Central America. Her hobbies aside from globe-trotting include hiking, reading a good book, watching inspiring documentaries, and planning her next adventure. She is ready to share her fun-loving and quirky personality and can’t wait to meet everyone out on the road!
•Larry — Larry (or #andlarry) is on his fourth cross-country Tour with the Big Idaho® Potato Truck. He brings a masterful skill at hauling the 6-ton potato that is only matched by his larger-than-life personality. He enjoys being a part of the Tater Team and seeing the country from behind the wheel. Larry is an Idaho native who enjoys writing books, hanging out with his family, and aspires to build his own sustainable home soon. You will never see him without a smile and he loves nothing better than making others smile. So, be sure to send a friendly honk and wave at him when he passes by!
The Big Idaho® potato weighs more than 6 tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes). After being seen by hundreds of millions of Americans, the most frequently asked question is still, “Is it real?” We’ll never tell…but if it is, the Big Idaho® Potato:
•Would make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes… pass the gravy!
•Could make more than 1.4 million (1,455,570) French fries!
•Would weigh 1,102 times more than the largest potato ever grown, which clocked in at 11 pounds.
To date, the Truck has visited 48 states (all but Hawaii and Alaska), traveled through 5,000+ towns/cities and traveled more than 100,000 miles since its 2012 launch celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the IPC. The Big Idaho® Potato Truck was built by Chris and Sharolyn Schofield of Weiser, Idaho with the help of a few specialized contractors. The Truck took a full year to design and build.
A Big Helping
The Big Idaho® Potato Truck Tour has always had a charitable component to it, and now in its third year, “A Big Helping” is the Truck’s “personal” way of assisting local charities across the country. During its six-month tour, the Truck will work with local charities in the markets they visit to help awareness and funds for their cause. Past recipients have included food banks, children’s hospitals and animal shelters.