ARGUABLY the most famous potato of them all, although Supertato may argue differently, Mr Potato Head paid a personal visit to Chepstow days before the town’s inaugural spudfest.

Welcomed by Chepstow Mayor, Cllr Margaret Griffiths and members of Chepstow Spudfest organising committee, the larger than life vegetable made a beeline for the town’s pebble sculpture.

The free to attend, Chepstow Spudfest, organised by Chepstow Town Council, is this Saturday, October 21, from 11 am to 5pm on the riverbank and in the Drill Hall. 

Events at a third location, The Castle Dell, have been switched due to safety concerns.

Cllr. Griffiths said: “The organising committee were delighted to welcome Mr Potato Head to Chepstow and to show him the locations for Chepstow Spudfest and the Pebble sculpture.

“He doesn’t say much but seemed to be impressed. But he did urge people to get cracking and to enter the various competitions.

“Mr Potato Head has promised to join us at Chepstow Spudfest and is looking forward to meeting as many people as he can on the day, especially children and young people.”

Chepstow Town Clerk, Lucy Allen, commenting on switching from using the Castle Dell as a venue for the sports events Cllr Griffiths said: “There’s tree felling going on in the exact place where we’d planned to have the potato sack carrying races and some other events so, just to be on the safe side, we’ve switched locations We’re hopeful that we may be able to use the Castle Dell for the events next year.”

Ms Allen followed Mr Potato Head’s lead in urging those looking to enter the various competitions to get their entries in as soon as they can. 

Groups and organisations within the town and any others with an interest and any spud-based ideas are urged to get involved in what it is hoped will become an annual festival.

Central to the celebration of all things potato is the pebble sculpture, unveiled in March this year on the River Wye in Chepstow, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the creation of Wales Coast Path. 

The coast path, which attracts thousands of walkers and tourists to the town each year, starts and ends on the banks of the River Wye in Chepstow.

The pebble, which some say resembles a tin-foil covered baked potato, has grabbed the imagination of the people of Chepstow and visitors to the ancient walled town alike.

Cllr Griffiths, who is chair of the Chepstow Spud Fest Working Group, said: “Chepstow SpudFest is a perfect opportunity to build on the undeniable interest in the sculpture that has been generated since its unveiling on the river bank earlier this year. We hope that the spud fest will help to promote the town, its culture and attractions and will boost engagement with the community.” 

Events at Chepstow SpudFest include competitions for the champion potato, potatoes resembling famous people and characters, photography and painting of potatoes, children’s artwork including, potato prints, potato people, collages of potatoes, cookery demonstration, potato sculpture, most imaginative use of a potato, craft stalls, expert talks on potatoes, growing them, their uses and cultural significance, best home-grown potato competition, potato sack race, Chepstow potato trail, recitation of poems and stories about potatoes as well as a competitions and potato related music potato and spoon and sack races.

For more details about Chepstow SpudFest contact Chepstow Town Clerk Lucy Allen on 01291 626370 or email the council [email protected]

A Facebook group has also been set up for SpudFest.