The spud journeyed this week from Portland, Maine to Hoisington, Kansas for the 122nd Annual Labor Day Celebration! We made a few stops along the way in Niagara Falls, Indianapolis, and outside Kansas City!
Hoisington, Kansas is a small town of 3,500 people with the largest Labor Day parade in the state of Kansas! It sounded crazy, but the town doubles in size on Labor Day to over 8,000 people. We rolled into Hoisington the Friday before the holiday and were able to enjoy all of the activities during the festival. The first day, we were invited to attend a Touch-a-Truck event. A number of various trucks were there including firetrucks, ambulances, a crane, tractors, and other farming equipment. There was also a life-flight helicopter that we got to see land and take-off. The event drew in a lot of families with children and the Big Idaho Potato truck was one of the main attractions. We had a signature board there supporting GPS Kids Club, which is a before-and-after school program in town. They recently had their heater break last winter, so we helped raise money so they could get a new one! We received SO many signatures and were able to donate $500 to support them.
In addition, we held a dance challenge where we gave away free kids t-shirts, had potato-hole bean bag toss for free beach balls, and gave out postcards and Idaho Potato recipes! Spuddy Buddy even made an appearance to join in on all of the fun! We were shocked at the turnout, and were pleased to hear that Labor Day is the biggest weekend of the year in Hoisington. Scott, President of the Chamber of Commerce and EMS Director, had been wanting us to come to the festival for over 3 years. He said it was definitely worth the wait! That afternoon, we moved the truck down to Main Street in downtown where there was a BBQ cook-off, carnival, and a car show that evening.
On Sunday, the tater team got to enjoy a first and attended the annual demolition derby! I had never been to one and didn’t really know what to expect. However, it was definitely entertaining to say the least! If you’ve never been, they put around ten cars in a pit full of mud. The cars are all clunkers, and they crash into each other until there is one left standing! It was fun to experience and we got to chat with more of the folks from the town! That evening, Scott and his family invited us over for dinner at his house. We were so happy to have a home-cooked meal and even better company. On the road, we get a little homesick and it was nice to spend the evening hanging out at his house!
On Labor Day, we attended the parade through downtown! Scott’s four grandchildren, Lexi, Hayes, Peyton, and Fabian rode on the truck with us. They were so well-behaved and became our little spud squad! They were so excited to be riding along because the Big Idaho Potato truck coming to town was such a big deal. They told us that they wished we lived in Kansas, so they could hang out with us and the truck all the time! The crowd was so energized during the parade, and it was crazy to see how much the town filled up for this event. It was a blast!
This weekend definitely went above and beyond my expectations! Small towns are so special because everyone shows up for the big events and are so welcoming. We loved you Hoisington! Until next time potato peeps!
-Tater Twin Kaylee