BOISE, IDAHO, September 7, 2004 - Visitors will think they're seeing a mirage when they stop by booth # 501 at this year's PMA. The familiar faces of original Gilligan's Island cast members will generate a lot of second looks and, the folks at the Idaho Potato Commission's booth hope, a lot of conversation, socializing and photo opportunities.
Puzzled over the connection (potatoes and island castaways)? It's simple: the IPC is a major sponsor of Idaho's recently celebrated first annual Spud Drive-In Family Fun & Music Festival (that's Spudfest for short) and SpudFest was created by Mary Ann (Dawn Wells). Wells is an avid home chef - and, living in Idaho Potato country has a passion for the world's best tasting spuds. Whether she is firing up the grill or throwing a last minute dinner party, Idaho Potatoes are a staple in her household. Wells has been a long-time promoter of the arts and she started the Idaho-based festival to, as she says, "make this state - beloved for its top notch potatoes as well-known for the arts."
Gilligan himself (Bob Denver) and the Professor too (Russell Johnson) plan to join Mary Ann at PMA to support the Idaho Potato industry as well as support one of their favorite castmates (sorry Ginger).
When the folks at the IPC looked at the calendar and realized that PMA occurred on the heels of SpudFest (August), a light bulb went off. "There is so much to do and see at PMA and we really wanted to make our booth special this year," said Seth Pemsler, VP of Retail, IPC. "Dawn Wells has been a terrific partner for us this year. She's an Idaho native, she loves Idaho Potatoes and she is up for anything! When we asked her and her friends to help us out at PMA, they said yes and the rest is history."
Gilligan's Island Gang - IPC Booth Details