Carbondale to salute the spud |

Carbondale to salute the spud

Volunteers remove hundreds of freshly baked potatoes from the Sopris Park roasting pits during a recent Potato Day, in keeping with a tradition dating back nearly 100 years. (Nick Saucier/VJ file photo)

CARBONDALE ” Potato Day, Carbondale’s 98th annual tribute to the tator, returns Saturday with its traditional spud-themed parade and barbecue.

The community has saluted the spud virtually every year since 1909. Potatoes were the primary cash crop in the area into the middle part of the 20th century and Carbondale taters rivaled Idaho’s famed tubers.

In keeping with a longstanding tradition, Saturday’s event will feature meat and potatos roasted in a huge barbecue pit at Sopris Park. The barbecue starts at noon; Louie and the Lizards will offer live music in the park gazebo from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The 10:30 a.m. parade may feature plenty of tater-toting secret agents ” this year’s Potato Day theme is “2-007 Call Me Spud, James Spud, License to Bake.”

The day begins with an 8 a.m. farmer’s market and the 5-kilometer Tater Trot and one-mile Fossil Trot. Sign up for the runs in advance at the Red Rock Diner in Carbondale.

The Bareback Bonanza begins at 3 p.m. at the Gus Darien Riding Arena on County Road 100; registration for the rodeo events begins at 2 p.m.

Proceeds from the barbecue and other events will benefit various local causes.

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