ShareThis Page
Allegheny

World's largest 'potato' to make Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day parade debut

Bob Bauder
| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 4:45 p.m.
The Big Idaho Potato Truck, which hauls a six-ton potato sculpture, will be at Pittsburgh's 2018 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
bigidahopotato.com
The Big Idaho Potato Truck, which hauls a six-ton potato sculpture, will be at Pittsburgh's 2018 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade mascot Finn, an Irish wolfhound, and River, Pittsburgh’s canine ambassador.
Bob Bauder | Tribune-Review
St. Patrick’s Day Parade mascot Finn, an Irish wolfhound, and River, Pittsburgh’s canine ambassador.

Organizers of Pittsburgh's St. Patrick's Day Parade booked the world's largest potato for Saturday's event Downtown, but forgot the corned beef and cabbage.

The Big Idaho Potato Truck hauling a six-ton potato sculpture will appear for the first time in Pittsburgh and participate in the parade, according to parade Chairman Mac McCafferty.

“Nothing says Ireland like a potato,” he said Tuesday after receiving a proclamation from Pittsburgh City Council. “I saw it online, and thought, ‘I need this thing for our parade.' ... They told me 12 cities applied, including all the big ones — New York, Chicago, Boston — and they decided to come to Pittsburgh.”

McCafferty said he would consider corn beef and cabbage, two other entrees in a traditional Irish meal, for future parades.

“Next year, maybe,” he said. “I have to hit the whole recipe there.”

The Idaho Potato Commission had the giant spud built as part of a one-year campaign in 2012 to celebrate the organization's 75th anniversary. It has since used it as a promotion for Idaho potatoes.

Made of steel, concrete and plywood, the sculpture weighs 12,130 pounds and is 28 feet long, 12 feet wide and 11.5 feet high. A semi-truck pulls it. The largest potato ever grown, by comparison, weighed 11 pounds, according to the commission.

Dedicated to the memory of the late Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the parade will start at 10 a.m. at Liberty Avenue and 11th Street and run along Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies and along the boulevard to Stanwix Street.

It will feature 22,000 participants, 200 marching units, floats and groups representing ethnic heritage, according to organizers. McCafferty said he hopes to recruit college bands attending NCAA Tournament games over the weekend at PPG Paints Arena.

City Council declared March 11-18 St. Patrick's Day Parade Week in the city.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or on Twitter @bobbauder.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me