CBCA rooting for tater to bring in the crowds

By Bev Britton on July 2, 2018

Big Idaho potato truck for websiteWith all the ribs, chicken, pork and brisket smoking at the Clayton BBQ Cook-off, you wouldn’t think a potato would take center stage.

But then you have to consider that this super spud weighs more than 6 tons and would make more than 1.4 million French fries. And it’s coming all the way from Idaho for the 9th annual cook-off on Saturday, July 14.

This year, the oversized tuber will travel 28,000 miles and visit more than 60 cities on the Big Idaho Potato Truck. In tune with today’s culture, the potato has sprouted a massive social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine. If that’s not enough, fans can get a live feed at potatotracker.com.

BBQ Cook-off chair Rory Richmond saw a flier about the tater truck at a trade show and has been trying to bring it to Clayton for three years. “I thought: Why not? It’ll bring attention to our event and hopefully bring people to come see it,” he said.

The Idaho Potato Commission created the potato with a purpose – to celebrate the group’s 75th anniversary in 2011. Clayton is one of only two Bay Area stops on this year’s tour. The patriotic potato will also be at the Alameda Fourth of July Parade.

The Tater Team’s visit to Clayton will include a donation to the Clayton Business & Community Association (CBCA), which is sponsoring the cook-off along with Concord Chevrolet.

“We already know that the truck brings smiles to people wherever it goes, but now it’s also helping people and that feels pretty good,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO of the potato commission.
According to Richmond, the CBCA supports more than 40 local charities. “Just about every local charity that submits a request gets it, from schools to various projects around town,” he said.

The BBQ Cook-off features 48 teams competing in a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned “Master Series” four-meat competition judged by KCBS certified BBQ judges. Backyard and KCBS “pro” teams will compete for $7,000 in prize money.

In the People’s Choice tasting, visitors can vote for their favorite competition style ribs. A $20 ticket provides for seven samples and three voting tokens. The tasting will be open 1-3 p.m., or until the ribs run out.

Other food for sale will include barbecue from Pig in a Pickle of Corte Madera and Lord of the Ribs of Gilroy, along with items from Center Street Deli & Cafe of Clayton, S&K Wings and Calabash Catering. In the Craft Brew Garden, local breweries will be pouring their favorites – including Epidemic Ales and E.J. Phair from Concord and Morgan Territory Brewing of Tracy.

MamaLuke will provide music 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and R&B group Eve and the Broken Ribs will perform 6-8:30 p.m. in The Grove Park.

The cook-off runs 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Clayton. Admission is free.

For more information, visit www.claytoncbca.org.

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