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Photo of clowns in Tater Day Parade
Clowns entertain in the Tater Day parade, 1974

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Tater Day Festival
A Local Legacy

Festivals devoted to foods like garlic, strawberries and pumpkins are held all over the United States.
The Tater Day Festival, which may be the world's only festival devoted to sweet potatoes, is held in Benton, Kentucky.

The three-day Tater Day Festival had its beginnings in 1843. Farmers from the countryside would bring their products to the town square to sell or trade on county court days. One of the things they would bring is sweet potatoes, which grow well in the Southern climate. "Tater" is a nickname for potato.

In Benton, this eventually turned into an annual festival honoring the sweet potato, complete with a parade, carnival, fiddling contest, gospel singing, and baking and canning competitions, beginning on the first Monday in April. Did you know that sweet potatoes are not related to the common white potatoes? They are actually related to the Morning Glory vine. Have you ever tried sweet potatoes? They tend to be a popular dish at Thanksgiving.

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