HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — The Titanic Tater is on track for its return appearance March 17 in the First Ever 19th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® in downtown Hot Springs.
“All I can say is, ‘Wow!’” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the 98-foot parade on Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use. “When that four-ton stupendous spud and its trailer make the 90-degree turn off Central Avenue onto Bridge Street, the crowd goes wild. It’s one of the favorite entries in our annual event. It’s a really tight squeeze for the Potato to turn onto Bridge Street, but they made it with three inches to spare in 2019.”
The bodacious baker, billed as The World’s Biggest Potato on Wheels, and its accompanying truck and trailer — at a combined 72 feet long — were a huge hit in their inaugural appearance in the 2019 Hot Springs parade.
The tremendous tuber was scheduled to return to the parade in 2020, but that parade and the 2021 event were drastically reduced in size because of the global covid pandemic.
Laura Martin, spokeswoman for the Biggest Potato, said last week that the prodigious pomme de terre was on the schedule for the Hot Springs appearance.
“By the way,” Martin said, “the parade’s official starter, Danny Trejo, is going to be at the Thanksgiving Parade in Hollywood that we will be in, too. I told my team to track him down and invite him to ride on the potato in the Hot Springs parade!
The Big Idaho Potato Truck will be having its 10th Anniversary national tour in 2022.
It began in 2012 as a one-year campaign to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission and became quickly apparent with its success that it would be more than a one-year occurrence, it literally became a big piece of pop-culture.
Martin said, “The Truck and Tater Team travel the country promoting the certified heart-healthy Idaho potato and its mission to help small charities in towns and cities with its A Big Helping program. Not to mention that people just want to have their picture taken with a four-ton Idaho potato.”!
In 2019 the tater traveled 35,350 miles promoting Idaho® potatoes. It donated $12,500 to 25 local nonprofits, including one in Hot Springs, through its charitable program, A Big Helping.
The four-ton Big Idaho® Potato is the equivalent of 21,562 Idaho® potatoes, according to its sponsors. A real titanic tuber of that size would take 7,000 years to grow, they say. It would take two years in a hot oven to bake the brobdingnagian baker and would make 20,217 servings of mashed potatoes or 970,380 french fries. It is 802 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which tipped the scales at 11 pounds.
Other attractions of the 2022 parade previously announced include Arkansas Razorbacks Head Football Coach Sam Pittman and his wife, Jamie, who will serve as King and Queen.
The parade, which began in 2003, annually attracts upwards of 30,000 people to the city’s historic downtown district. The parade is immensely popular, with its insanely zany collection of marchers, strutters, dancers, waddlers and floats that cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street in the heart of downtown Hot Springs. It has been named numerous times among the Top 10 parades in the world.
After two postponements in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® will return in full form March 17 with comedian Cheech Marin as the celebrity grand marshal and “Machete” Trejo as the official starter. The parade has consistently been designated among the Top 10 St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the world.
Marin and Trejo had been scheduled to participate in the 2020 parade, but the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the event for two years, resulting in drastically reduced versions in 2020 and 2021.
For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.