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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Giant Idaho potato turns heads in Tampa

TAMPA - Words seem impotent and useless when trying to describe a 28-foot-long fake potato on a flatbed.

Yet that's exactly what pulled up to Datz restaurant on South MacDill Avenue in Tampa on Friday morning. The Idaho Potato Commission is celebrating its 75th anniversary by driving a mammoth fiberglass spud across the country on a tour of major U.S. cities.

Restaurant customers snapped photos of the enormous tuber, passing drivers slowed for a look, and Jack Prose, 2, tried to take a bite as his mother, Natassja, held him in her arms.

“French fries!” the boy said.

If it had been an actual, edible potato, it would have made 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes and taken two years and nine months to bake.

In addition to elevating the profile of Idaho potatoes, the tour also promotes Meals on Wheels programs for senior citizens, the American Heart Association and the Famous Idaho Potato football bowl game.

“We get the most amazing reactions driving down the road,” truck driver Paul Humbracht said. “People are always waving and honking.”

The potato tour heads next to Oklahoma and then swings up the California coast.

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