OK, first of all. You want to see a party? You go down to the National Potato Council's Annual Meeting and Expo in Las Vegas. This is a gigantic meeting of people who do nothing all year but think about potatoes, then get released on Sin City for one weekend every year to just go BONKERS. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure the Las Vegas P.D. lays on extra officers whenever the NPCAM&E rolls through town.
Second, if you're looking for someone on whom to bestow the "2010 Potato Man of the Year" award, you just don't have to look much further than Washington's own Chris Voigt--the dude who ate nothing but potatoes (20 a day) for 60 days and lived to tell (and blog) about it.
Put these two things together and what do you get?
Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Herald
You get this, which is Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission, being handed the 2010 Potato Man of the Year award by national commission Chairman Frank Martinez. According to the Columbia Basin Herald, the award is given to "someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to represent the potato industry." And Voigt certainly is that. I'm guessing he got more ink and coverage for the humble potato with his one stunt diet than any of the last three Potato Men of the Year got for . . . doing whatever it is they did.
Anyway, I don't think Voigt's triumph at this year's Potato Oscars was ever really in doubt. And now he will spend the next 365 days fulfilling his duties as Potato King of America--which include ceremonial ribbon cuttings at the openings of new potato farms, judging the National Championship of Mashed Potato Eating, and casting the tie-breaking vote in the United States Senate.
So congrats, Chris. Washington state is proud of you. Just please try not to bring shame to the title of Potato Man of the Year, like that one guy did. You know, that guy? Got caught eating rice pilaf in public?