Boise, ID (May 2, 2016)
Back by popular demand, the world’s largest potato on wheels is traveling across the country promoting Idaho’s most famous agricultural product, the Idaho® potato. While on its journey, the Big Idaho® Potato Truck will help dozens of charities better serve their communities through its charitable program, “A Big Helping.”
“The Big Idaho® Potato Truck has become the cornerstone of the Idaho Potato Commission’s marketing program,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “By promoting the Truck in our national advertising campaign, participating in events with hundreds of thousands of attendees, and making stops at key retail and foodservice operations, we’ve been able to engage millions of consumers of all ages across the country.”
During its seven-month tour, the Truck will travel approximately 28,000 miles and be heralded as the main attraction in several parades and festivals across the country including Thunder Over Louisville (KY); the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.; Portland Oregon’s Rose Festival Starlight Celebration; and the Sea Fair Festival in Seattle (WA).
In November, the Truck will participate in what will be its most unique and head-turning event yet. It will be part of the entourage of vehicles transporting the 60-foot Capitol Christmas Tree from Payette National Forest in Idaho to Washington, D.C. The Big Idaho® Potato Truck will deliver hundreds of ornaments made by Idaho schoolchildren and participate in local events scheduled to take place along the cross-country journey.
There are numerous ways for folks to follow the 2016 Big Idaho® Potato Truck Tour and plenty of opportunities to see it in person…
The Tater Team is made up of three people who love to travel - especially in a giant spud! Ellis, an experienced Tater Team member, is on board for his fourth tour and travels the globe when he’s not working with the Big Idaho® Potato. Adam, a second-year Truck veteran is an outgoing Boise native who brings his fitness degree on the road. “Larry the Driver” was the Truck’s very first driver and has hundreds of tales from the road to share.
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:
To date, the Truck has visited 48 states (all but Hawaii and Alaska), traveled through 3,000+ towns/cities and traveled 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.
The Big Idaho® Potato Truck Tour has always had a charitable component to it, and now in its second year, “A Big Helping” is the Truck’s “personal” way of assisting local charities across the country. During its seven-month tour, the Truck’s management team will identify local charities to receive a $500 donation via a Signature Board that’s set up at the events the Truck visits. Past recipients have included food banks, children’s hospitals and animal shelters.
“We already know that the Truck brings smiles to people wherever it goes but now it’s also helping people and that feels pretty good,” said Muir.
Established in 1937, the IPC is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance that differentiates Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.