Their Smiles Say It All @ Thorpdale Potato Festival

This weekend we visited the Thorpdale Potato Festival (Spud Fest) for the first time in 12 years. The Potato Festival had been a huge local event for many years until ridiculous costs and conditions were imposed by insurance companies making it nigh on impossible to comply. This led to the demise of a wonderful annual event that funded community groups and was responsible for some great sporting facilities being developed in the town of Thorpdale. Many community organisations right across the country had to curtail their community events due to the high cost of public liability insurance and the increased red tape that was a huge burden for volunteer committees to manage. But it’s back! Boy, is it back! Great day indeed.

Thorpdale Potato Festival

When we first moved to Trafalgar about 25 years ago our local Apex club worked as parking attendants at the Spud Fest and this raised great sums of money that went straight back into the community. Every year Mr ATMT would have to do his allotted time slot on parking duty so we would all head up to the Festival to watch competitions in picking and bagging spuds, see some cooking tips and most importantly hope that the kids didn’t get flattened when mob mentality kicked in as an aeroplane dropped packets of potato chips over the crowd. That was scary, but the kids loved it! Very fond memories of those festivals.


Our older son lives in Melbourne and had mentioned to friends about the fest making a come back so they made a weekend of it by coming down, staying at our place and doing the Spud Fest. It was  a delight spending time with them all. We had forewarned them that an hour might be the maximum time the fest may take up before they were bored stiff, but we got there just before midday and left just before it closed at about 4.00. Following are some photos of the day. Congratulations to the organisers in bringing this event back and huge accolades in the way it was organised. I think they were caught short with having enough food vendors to meet the need but that just goes to show that people came out in loads to support this event.



Champing at the bit to get in!

First up some refreshment from a local brewery.


Grand Ridge Brewery from  Mirb


Then off to watch the stunt motor bike.

IMG_0235On to watch the ladies packing race. Had to fill the box with spuds then load the box onto a pallet. Gee these girls can move. Found the perfect place to watch the event, a pile of spud sacks of course!





IMG_0261Then a walk around looking at historical machinery, some market stalls and a very quick glimpse at the line dancers. Some words of wisdom on display.


The mashed potato eating competition. Everyone who entered this was laughing and smiling. Great to see all ages getting on board.

IMG_0268 IMG_0278Fashions on the Field, all made from hessian which is the fabric used make potato sacks. Some were creative and artistic,

IMG_0300Some were serious and quite stunning.
























And some were just plain silly! A very important component indeed.

IMG_0317Back to the event area to watch the mens potato packing competition.

IMG_0255The ‘kids’ were very excited to have their photo taken with ‘Chippy’  the mascot for the festival.    ‘Chippy’ even speaks english you know!

IMG_0241Oh, the excitement of being photographed with ‘Chippy’!

IMG_0245We missed a few events like the dog trials, the sack race, shearing and more but the ‘kids’ vow they are coming back next year to catch everything. We will be more than happy to have them too! Great weekend. Thanks to the organisers, well done indeed. What community events and festivals do you enjoy?







About fergie51

Sourdough baker, teacher, eater and student. Sustainable living advocate and passionate food grower. Conduct sourdough baking classes at my home and administrator of Facebook support page for Australian & New Zealand sourdough bakers.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Their Smiles Say It All @ Thorpdale Potato Festival

  1. Deb hornsby says:

    it was a great great day
    I feel the same
    Didnt get around to everything so will be back next year earlier and organised


  2. Thank you so much for coming! It absolutely blew is away how many people came to support our ‘little’ festival. We wanted to get 2-3000 people through the gates…we estimated between 8-9000!!! Overwhelmed but also so happy with the result, SO much hard work has paid off I think! Thanks again.
    Emma – committee member


    • fergie51 says:

      I do take my hat off to you and others involved. I appreciate how much hard work goes onto planning any community event and often without thanks. Loved your blog post, lovely to hear it from someone who have seen it from very angle. Cheers 🙂


  3. MamaD1xx4xy says:

    Looks like so much fun. Glad to see your beloved Spud Fest came back. I do so enjoy a local festival and this one looks incredible.


  4. foodnstuff says:

    What a great day it must have been. What innovation!….organising a whole day of events around the humble spud. Should be more of it.


  5. Such an enjoyable day with much to enjoy; a credit to the organizers and the community


  6. mscate says:

    what a lovely idea! Love the fashions and the potato eating competition!


  7. What a fun day! I pity the backs of those spud packers though.


  8. Lesley Walker says:

    Thanku for the writeup and great pics. Im so glad u enjoyed the day so much. Made all that hard work worth while. Back on tomorrow. Hope we see u all there.. Lesley committee member

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s