Idaho Spud Day is an annual event that brings families together for entertainment and activities centered around the beloved spud. The festival starts with a pageant and the crowning of Miss Russet, who wins a scholarship and the privilege of reigning over the fun. Run or walk the Tater Trot and work your way up to the Spud Run, too. It’s all for the sport and camaraderie, so show your support and join in.
To sate your appetite after the run, make a stop at the pancake breakfast. Proceeds go to the local emergency medical technicians of the area to continue training and updating equipment. Other activities for the day include entertainment like the community orchestra, a potato picking contest, horseshoe tournament, and spud tug. Don’t forget to attend the children’s parade and the Spud Day parade. Then, top the day off with a baked potato and delicious trimmings.
The festival has many decades behind it, and the hometown atmosphere shines through in every event and participant. Explore the area and enjoy what there is to offer in this gorgeous location. Idaho Falls is close by where you can visit the zoo, check out a museum, or take a walk along the river.
Idaho Spud Day is a family-friendly festival that is easy on the budget. Joining in the fun is free, although a nominal fee may be required for entrance into the fun runs, and a donation is asked for the pancake breakfast. Get the details here: www.idahospudday.com. The only cost to attend is a happy attitude and the energy to take part in all of the excitement.
Head 10 miles south of Idaho Falls, and you will enter the county of Bingham and the City of Shelley. Sign up for Textwire alerts and you will be texted street closures and safety issues while in town. Townsfolk will be more than happy to answer questions about the festival and where it takes place. Look out for the mascot “Super Spud,” and you will know you are in the middle of the merriment.
Call ahead or email organizers if you have questions about where to park for Idaho Spud Day. Otherwise, enter the town and make inquiries from the local residents regarding what side streets will enable easy navigation and parking of your rig.
On-demand, call ahead (by one day) public transport is offered by Pocatello Regional Transit, Idaho. Described as “demand-responsive,” the service is based on whether there are enough riders. A taxi may be a better option due to availability. Park your RV on the outskirts of town if you prefer, and cab into Idaho Spud Day.
With the main event, other than the pageant and the tater trot, being on one day, there is no onsite camping. There are campgrounds very close to town for those who want to be close to the Spud Day goings-on. Otherwise, Idaho Falls is directly north with camping options.
Head 10 miles north to Idaho Falls to explore Snake River and the beautiful Idaho Falls. In Ririe, you can camp in the view of the mountain or visit hot springs. Rexburg offers hiking trails, biking areas, and rafting opportunities for those who like to be active. There are several options to look at, and the amenities include big rig access and pull-through sites, full hookup, fire rings, showers, and laundry facilities.
Idaho Spud Day will keep you on your feet and involved in the fun. The terrain is grass and pavement, but there will be crowds so maneuvering a wagon could be a challenge. A stroller should be manageable. Wheelchair access is good; however, a rainy day could make for a muddy trek through the grass.
You may want to wear jeans or shorts, t-shirts, and running shoes that give traction for the tug of war and comfort for the potato picking contest. Hats are a must for every family member because no one realizes the intensity of the sun’s rays when involved in a game with “Super Spud,” the mascot. Pack the RV with rain gear for worm hunting and puddle splashing if the skies open up with a shower.
For the festival, bring a smile and maybe a camera to record the festivities. A well-stocked camper means a list that includes toiletries, extra towels, flashlights for nighttime star watching treks, and a small radio to keep up to date on local weather if need be. Top up the propane and water before heading out on the road.
Teach the kids the safety rules of camping: stay close to camp, yet far from the fire pit. Have a cooler full of ice and cold drinks so that everyone stays hydrated and bring along a refillable water bottle when leaving for Idaho Spud Day. Pack the sunscreen and bug spray in your day bag and insist that the gang takes a shade break several times a day.
One-pot pasta and bacon or burgers with fresh and colorful veggies as toppings will satisfy the hungriest camper. Add a salad and a hearty potato dish to honor the spud. Complete the meal with fruit and chocolate chip cookies. Check at the front desk for campfire rules before starting a fire. Dry summers make for conditions to be wary of near the national forest lands in Idaho and surrounding areas.
Just about every taste bud can be satisfied in Shelley. Steaks, seafood, pizza, diner-type fixings, Indian or Mexican food. You want it; it is here. Try a sit-down restaurant to soothe tired feet before heading back to your riverside retreat for s’mores. Treat the kids to a delicious ice cream if bedtime is on the agenda as opposed to a campfire.
Of course, the vendor booths will be serving potatoes all ways for Idaho Spud Day. Support local artisans and craftspeople by shopping for creative and unique items that will allow you to take memories home with you. Commercial vendors will be on hand to supply knick-knacks and merchandise. Buy the kids a cool drink and snack so they will have the energy for the tug of war.
The main objective of Idaho Spud Day is to support and better the community. Volunteers and the Shelley fire, medical technicians, and police departments maintain order to ensure a good time is had by all. Respect the park by depositing garbage in the proper receptacles. With over 10,000 people in attendance, a clean and safe environment is a necessity.
Warm days and cool nights make for a great camping experience. September can be on the dry side, so adhere to fire regulations as determined by the campground. Stock the RV with warm blankets and leave the windows open at night for a blissful sleep, listening to the sounds of nature.
If members of your party have medical needs, ensure that the necessary supplies top the camping preparation list. Pack the essentials in a clear plastic container for quick access: easily identifiable medicines, bandages, antibiotic cream for cuts, peroxide, tweezers, scissors, a thermometer, ointment for burns, and wet wipes. Keep the kit out of reach of little ones.