MAKE it a firm date in your diary, as Chepstow Spud Fest is coming to town - in celebration of the quirky riverside sculpture dubbed a jacket spud in silver foil.
News of the free festival, organised by Chepstow Town Council and to be held principally in the town’s historic Drill Hall and on the riverbank and the castle dell, comes as a boost after the town’s Festival of Arts was cancelled last weekend owing to high winds and storms.
Spud Fest will be on Saturday, October 21, from 11am to 5pm, and while exact programme details are being finalised but a range of potato-themed events are being considered by the council’s newly-created Chepstow Spud Fest (CSF) Working Group.
The CSF is now inviting groups and organisations within the town and any others with an interest and any spud-based ideas, 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 sculpture, 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, with local shops even selling potato-themed gifts.
Mayor of Chepstow, Councillor Margaret Griffiths, who is chair of the Chepstow Spud Fest Working Group, said: “Chepstow Spud Fest 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 Spud Fest could involve:
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;
Most imaginative use of a potato;
Expert talks on potatoes, growing them, their uses and cultural significance;
Best home-grown potato competition;
Gardener’s Question Time;
A potato sack race through the town;
A Chepstow potato trail;
Recitation of poems and stories about potatoes as well as a poetry competition and potato related music.
For more details about Chepstow Spud Fest contact Chepstow Town Clerk Lucy on 01291 626370 or email [email protected]
Meanwhile, organisers of Chepstow Festival of Arts are counting the cost of having to cancel Saturday’s popular annual event.
With winds of up to 30mph and storms forecast, organisers announced on Thursday: “It is with great sadness and after much careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to cancel.”
However, they say the festival’s linked ‘Seal Trail’ scheme in honour of town visitor Sammy The Seal is being finalised.