Tater team visits Folkmoot parade

By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | Jul 19, 2013
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Members of the "tater team," Tyler Pagel and Kristie Wolfe, stand in front of the Idaho Potato Commission's potato truck, which is touring all over the country to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

Nothing was considered small potatoes during this year’s Folkmoot Parade of Nations, especially with the addition of a 6-ton fabricated potato added to the route.

In celebration of it’s 75th anniversary, the Idaho Potato Commission has built the world’s largest Idaho spud and put it on the bed of a semi-truck to tour across the country. The 48-foot-long flatbed trailer features a potato that measures 12 feet wide, 11.5 feet tall and 28 feet long.

The semi-truck “tater team” was invited to participate in Folkmoot this year, which brought them to Waynesville last Thursday.

The truck has left Idaho and is currently touring the country to bring awareness to Meals on Wheels Association of America, a nonprofit that provides home-delivered meals services to people in need.

“As we travel, we get together with the local Meals on Wheels chapters and try to get donations,” said Tyler Pagel, a member of the tater team. “We thought it was appropriate to get involved with Meals on Wheels because in a way, we are the largest meal on wheels.”

Teddy Greene, with Folkmoot USA, said he thought it was a good idea to bring the Idaho truck to town for the parade.

“Since it was our 30th Folkmoot anniversary and their 75th anniversary, we wanted them here for ours,” Greene said.

Kristie Wolfe, also a part of the tater team, said she was impressed by the lush North Carolina mountains, adding that she was used to the flat land of Idaho.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” she said. “We’re definitely excited to get out and hike. This is the best scenery we’ve seen since we left Idaho.”

The truck, which has been on the road for about three and a half months, will be touring for another four months, traveling a total of $30,000 miles.

“Everywhere we go we bring smiles and energy,” Pagel said. “People always want to roll down their windows and take pictures. We’ve been from Times Square to a little Nebraska town with 200 people. We’ve been to a lot of states.”

Pagel said the truck would be attending a Meals on Wheels event over the weekend Bryson City.

Wolfe said the semi-truck, which came from Kansas City, is making its next stop in Cincinnati.