Latest News – September 6

It’s a Spud-tacular Potato Festival in Monte Vista

This coming Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10 the Annual San Luis Valley Potato Festival will take place in Monte Vista.spacer

The San Luis Valley Potato Festival in Monte Vista is this Friday & Saturday, September 9 & 10.

The San Luis Valley Potato Festival in Monte Vista is this Friday & Saturday, September 9 & 10. Visit them on their Facebook page.

spacerCome and celebrate the spuds in this potato growing paradise! The weekend is filled with fun activities and events like the Tater Trot 5K Race, Live Music, Crafts, Guided Tours, a Carnival, Professional Chefs, a Dunk Tank, Reptiles, a Bouncy House, Farm Fresh Potatoes & Much More! For full details and schedule: CLICK HERE. Here are some of this year’s highlights!

Tater Trot 5K!

If you’re going to load up on some of the most delicious carbs the state has to offer, then why not wake up bright and early on Saturday, Sept. 10, for The Tater Trot? tater_trot_flyer_2jpg

This fun potato-themed 5K is hosted by the Monte Vista Recreation Department, and includes such unique legs as the potato-sack-hop, potato slip-and-slide, and the bag-of-potatoes sprint to the finish.

And everyone is a winner, as racers get to keep their bag of delicious Colorado potatoes!

Details and registration: Tater Trot.spacer

San Luis Central Railroad Offer Rides for Festival

This year’s San Luis Valley Potato Festival goers will have the opportunity to learn about Colorado potatoes in a whole new way!  The San Luis Central Railroad will be offering train rides during the Potato Festival, where participants can ride the train from Full Park to various potato fields and a potato packing shed around Monte Vista.  

From train rides to spud decorating, its tons of family fun at the San Luis Valley Potato Festival this Froday & Saturday in Monte Vista, Colo.

From train rides to spud decorating, it’s family fun at the San Luis Valley Potato Festival this Friday & Saturday, Sept. 9 & 10 in Monte Vista, Colo.

This will not be a typical train ride-passengers of this train are in for a big treat!  Thomas Tancula of San Luis Central Railroad will provide thrilling narration of your journey and the history of the surrounding area.  He will tell you about the long and rich history between the Railroad and Agricultural industry in the San Luis Valley.  For instance, did you know that while the San Luis Central Railroad may transport many Colorado potatoes today, it was founded in 1913 to haul sugar beets?

The ride will take approximately one hour, and is completely free!  Trains will depart from Fullenwider Park at 9 a.m. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Please note that this is a separate location from the Potato Festival, which is being held at Chapman Park.  However, there will be horse-drawn buggies going from Chapman Park to Downtown Monte Vista all day long that can drop you off at the train site.

If you would like to reserve your spot on the train, email, otherwise, spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Festival Welcomes Chefs Dustin Brafford, Jesper Jonsson

This year for the San Luis Valley Potato Festival, two professional Chefs, will be conducting demonstrations for those who attend! Colorado Potatoes is extremely excited to invite Chef Dustin Brafford of the Elk Creek Ranch and Chef Jesper Johsson of the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts to this year’s celebration.  The Chefs will be showing audiences new and exciting ways to cook Colorado potatoes, plus sampling out their delicious dishes to everyone that comes! Don’t miss their demos on Saturday starting at noon in the park.

Chef Dustin Brafford

Chef Dusin Brafford

Chef Dusin Brafford

Chef Dusin Brafford is a chef at the Elk Creek Ranch in Meeker.   He was previously the Executive Chef at Komotodo Sushi in Denver and the Executive Chef Opus at Crest Gastropub.  He is a member of the ACF Colorado Chefs Association and a supporter of the Farm to Table Movement.  He recently chaired a Volunteer Fundraiser for the Colorado nonprofit community that raised $100,000 to help in the fight against sex trafficking in Colorado.  He is the Chairman of the American Master Chefs Order event at the Colorado Governor’s Residence in partnership with the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Chef Jesper Jonsson

Chef Jesper Jonsson

Chef Jesper Jonsson

A native of Denmark, Chef Jonsson trained in France at both Universite Paul Valery and Auguste Escoffier.  With a solid background in French cuisine, he moved on to cook in Europe, New York for Danish diplomats and eventually Colorado. His guest lists have included such luminaries as Princesses Stephanie and Caroline of Monaco, Caroline Kennedy,  Yoko Ono, Isabella Rossellini, Clint Eastwood, Roger Moore and Greg Norman, to name a few.  He speaks English, Danish and French.  In a pinch, he can handle Italian as well.  With all his exposure, Jonsson is a down-to earth chef who takes pride in culinary simplicity, knowledge and perfect execution of his food.  He has a love for Colorado game and meats and insists that Colorado lamb as absolutely equal to the best pres de sel from Brittany, France.  He comes by his love for Colorado from having lived and worked on the Western Slope in and around Meeker.

Live Music Line-Up at Potato Festival

Arch Hooks Will Entertain Friday Night

Back by popular demand, Arch Hooks will once again provide the entertainment for the Friday Night Concert on September 9 from 5 – 8 p.m.  Arch Hooks played the 2014 San Luis Valley Potato Festival and made quite an impression. Arch Hooks who hails from Amarillo Texas is a multifaceted performer who has played for 5 million people worldwide, in cities across the United States, as well as New Zealand and the Netherlands.  He performs all vocals, instruments, songwriting and arrangements, so this concert will be one to behold!  Arch Hooks currently has three albums filled with his original music-Piano Talk, Back Seat Oracle and Chemistry. This concert is free, and you don’t want to miss it, so be sure to get to Chapman Park in plenty of time for the 5 p.m. start time.spacer

Arch Hooks will entertain Friday night at the San Luis Valley Potato Festival in Monte Vista.

Arch Hooks performs Friday night at the San Luis Valley Potato Festival in Monte Vista.

spacer2 Weeks in Fiji will Rock the Festival on Saturday

A local band, 2 Weeks in Fiji, will play two sets during the Potato Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10.  Don’t miss them under the Pavilion at Chapman Park in Monte Vista at 10:30 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. The band  2 Weeks in Fiji is from Crestone, CO and consists of members Eli Dokson, Dale Smith, Mike Noonan, Caleb Clark, and Scott Swartz.  They play a combination of Classic Rock, R&B, Soul and original music!

Did you know that the San Luis Valley is the second largest fresh potato growing region in the United States? Here’s why, as explained by the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC) website: Situated at an elevation of 7600 feet, nestled between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains, the valley enjoys mild temperatures and 350 days of sunshine a year.  Part of an ancient lake bed, the fertile soil has been enriched by a unique mix of mineral deposits and is further enhanced by abundant annual snow melt. That is why over 150 potato growing families have made the San Luis Valley their home for generations.

Come and support their efforts this weekend at the annual San Luis Valley Potato Festival in beautiful Monte Vista, located in the historic and scenic San Luis Valley! For more info, contact us at

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