August 18, 2015 (Bristol, Tenn./Va.) – In its first year, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum has hosted visitors from as far away as Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. 49 of the 50 U.S. states have also been represented, Idaho being the only one not seen among our visitors. However, Friday that’s all about to change when The Big Idaho Potato rolls up to the museum doors! Yes, a giant potato is coming to Bristol! The Big Idaho Potato Truck will park at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum from 10:00 a.m.—11:30 a.m. for a photo opportunity in order to commemorate Idaho as the museum’s 50th state to visit.
The Big Idaho Potato Truck is on its fourth cross-country journey which began in 2012 as a one-year campaign to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission. This year the truck has a new mission: aid local charities across the U. S. The truck will identify charities in many of the markets it visits and offer “A Big Helping” based on the organization’s specific needs. In a five-month period, the truck will visit 60 cities, travel 22,087 miles and help dozens of charities better serve their communities. The IPC will work with the selected charities to create events to help raise awareness, funds, food, or all three for the non-profit.
“Idaho is the last state to be represented at the museum and we wanted to make this a special visit,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “We are very pleased that the Big Idaho Potato Truck is making a stop at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and are happy to say we have had a visit from the largest potato on wheels.”
“The truck has always had a charitable component to it,” explained Frank Muir, President and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “However the 2015 tour is going to be a little more personal. We’ll be working with different charities in each market and helping them in ways that are tailored specifically to them. 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.”
The Big Idaho Potato Truck has visited 48 states and will make its third appearance in the popular Pegasus Parade at the Kentucky Derby, participate in NASCAR events in Bristol, TN; and show support for the troops with an appearance at the Memorial Day Parade in Arlington, VA.
The truck weighs more than 6 tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes). The massive spud could make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes, more than 1.4 million French fries, and weighs 1,102 times more than the largest potato ever grown, which clocked in at 11 pounds.
For those who want to follow the Big Idaho Potato Truck throughout the summer, www.potatotracker.com provides a live feed of the oversize spud, allowing visitors to see where it is any time of day. There’s also a new toll-free number, 844-BIGIDAHO, and fans can call to hear a special message from Mark “A Real Idaho Potato Farmer” who appears in the IPC’s national television commercials.