The fun and food at the 26th annual Richford Potato Festival will kick off 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 in downtown Richford, located at Routes 38 and 79. Activities will be found throughout the village, with the main events at the Graded School House just south of the light on Route 38.
In addition to vendors of crafts, handy wares, and other “fun stuff”, there will be games and activities for kids, raffle baskets and a 50/50 raffle, and potato related contests for prizes. This year’s book sale will benefit the Historical Society and the Northern Tioga Neighbors Network.
Do you make the best potato salad in five counties? Have you been told nobody else’s compares to yours? If so, prove it to a panel of Richford’s finest taste connoisseurs.
Salads must be registered by 2 p.m. at the Richford Historical Society (Graded School house), refrigeration available, and judging will begin at 2 p.m. A prize will be awarded for the 1st place winner. There is an entry fee of $1.
Presentations at the Graded School House yard include potato races at 9 a.m. and a mashed potato eating contest at 11:30 a.m.; Cayuga Twisters, balloon animals; and Mike the Magician. Live Music will entertain from noon to 3 p.m., and the Ross Park Zoo-mobile will participate from 1 to 3 p.m.
No potato festival would be complete without “potato foods”! Munch on potato donuts by the Auxiliary at the Community Hall. For lunch, choose from the Fire Department’s traditional chicken BBQ starting at noon or the always-delicious lunch at the Richford Congregational Church, featuring potato salad and potato soup, and delicious pie along with other foods.
While at the Church, view the array of beautiful quilts on display. And of course, back at the Schoolyard, don’t forget to sample one or both of the two ice cream flavors designed by Cornell for the festival: “Taters’n’Cream” and “Sweet ‘Tater Ice Cream”!
Sadly, this year’s festival will be missing its key founder, Bill Sherwood, passed away at home on Aug. 29 surrounded by his family and his dog, Tri-pod, after a lengthy illness.
Bill had also been Town Historian and President of the Richford Historical Society for many years and had worked hard on the restoration of the Graded School House. He had been working on a display for the festival just two days before he passed.
Bill was also a talented guitarist, playing country music at Ithaca area nursing homes for over 25 years and playing with his friends as Bill Sherwood and the Sunshine Gang and, with the encouragement of his friend, Adam Gwardyak, playing at this year’s Busy Bird Bluegrass Festival.
Sherwood was retired from Cornell University Plantations Botanical Gardens where his stonewall laying and landscape construction is everywhere one looks.
The community mourned the loss of Sherwood during services held last week, and for those that wish, a memorial to the Richford Historical Society in loving Memory of William Sherwood can be made.