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Photo courtesy Elizabeth City Downtown Inc.

A number of "State Fair quality" rides will be available at this year's Potato Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

2014 NC Potato Festival: This year it's three times the spud!

By Robert Kelly - Goss

The Daily Advance

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It’s that time again. It’s time for the North Carolina Potato Festival in downtown Elizabeth City. And in keeping with tradition, the festivities get bigger every year.

This year you can count on three days of festivities: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. According to Rebecca Cross of Downtown Elizabeth City, Inc., that is three days of music, food and carnival rides.

You read it right. We said carnival rides. All three days “State Fair quality” rides will be available for the entire family. That and more venues for music, and more food and a whole lot of vendors.

Event locations include: the Main Stage on Water Street; the Community Stage located on the corner of Main and Martin Luther King Jr. streets; and the Mariner’s Wharf Stage. The festival is free and open to the public but rides require tickets purchased on site.

The festival hours and rides will be available on Friday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Ride tickets will cost $1.25 each or buy 20 tickets for $20. Rides will take from 2-5 tickets each. Wristbands, which allow for unlimited rides from opening to closing, cost $25 and are only available on Friday and Sunday.

Free hot french fries will be provided while they last by George Wood Farms, Inc. and cooked by the Elizabeth City Shrine Club.

There will be a Beer and Wine Garden open on Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. presented By Fraternal Order of Police.

Friday Events

Entertainment begins at the main stage with DJ “Taz” at 5 p.m.

The 2014 Kick Off Party at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage with Skinny Bag of Sugar.

Saturday Events

• A potato pitching contest will be held at Waterfront Park. Check the day of for times.

• There will be a “Car & Bike Show” sponsored by Cadillac Buick/GMC Truck

on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• An Antique and New Tractor and Potato Equipment Show on Water Street in front of Museum of the Albemarle on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• The National Potato Peeling Contest will be held at Main and Poindexter streets on Saturday at 10 a.m. and is presented by Centurylink.

• The Little Miss Tater Tot contest will be held at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 10 a.m. and is presented by Hall Auto.

• On the Main Stage, Connected performs at 10 a.m.

• Berea Baptist Puppet Team will hold a show at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 10:45 a.m.

• Million Watt Sons perform on the main stage at 10:45 a.m.

• Voices of Fountain of Life perform at the community stage at 10 a.m.

• Silver Bells performs at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 11:15 a.m.

• Chasing Pedestrians performs on the main stage at 11:15 a.m.

• The essay winner will be presented at Mariner’s Wharf stage at noon followed by a Zumba demonstration by Johanna Broyles.

• Sammy Morris performs at the community stage at noon.

• On the Main Stage, Amy Peters performs at noon and 1:30 p.m.

• Cheryl Respess performs at the community stage at 12:30 p.m.

• Bobby Plough performs on the main stage at 12:30 p.m.

• Patrick and Hannah Rose perform at the community stage at 1 p.m.

• From noon to 5 p.m., Pasquotank River Yacht Club will give free boat rides at Waterfront Park on Saturday and Sunday.

• The “Anything But Fries” Restaurant Challenge will be held at Main and Poindexter streets on Saturday at 1 p.m.

• A cornhole tournament begins at Water Street at 2 p.m. Registration starts at 1:30 p.m.

• The Stars of Liberty perform at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 1:45 p.m.

• Jill Coker Dance studio dancers perform at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 2 p.m.

• Out ‘N The Cold performs on the main stage at 2 p.m.

• The Oriental Sports Center holds demonstrations at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 3 p.m.

• Jacinta & Creative Worship perform at the community stage at 3 p.m.

• Upstart Gentlemen perform on the main stage at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

• The U.S. Coast Guard JROTC Drill team will perform drills at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 3:30 p.m.

• Team Collective performs on the main stage at 3:30 p.m.

• The Center Players perform at Mariner’s Wharf stage at 4 p.m.

• A potato sack race starts at Mariner’s Wharf stage area at 5 p.m.

• 2014 Main Street Dance from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. with performers: Nantucket at 5 p.m. and 40 East at 8 p.m.

• Steadfast performs at the community stage at 5 p.m.

• 2014 North Carolina Potato Festival Fireworks over the Pasquotank River at 9 p.m.

• Pony rides will be held at Museum of the Albemarle green on Saturday for a fee.

Sunday Events

• The Coast Players and Zumba performances will be held at Mariner’s Wharf stage. Times to be announced.

• U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Brass Band performs at main stage at 11 a.m.

• From noon to 5 p.m., Pasquotank River Yacht Club will give free boat rides at Waterfront Park.

• Matt Phillips & The Philharmonic performs at main stage at 12:30 p.m.

• Rellen performs at community stage at 12:30 p.m.

• New Evolution Wrestling will hold demonstrations at the community stage at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Visit online at www.evolutionwrestling.com.

• John Emil performs at main stage at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

• Bootleg Dynasty performs at main stage at 2 p.m.

• Eastland Drive performs at the community stage at 2 p.m.

• Tone Peddlers perform at the community stage at 3:30 p.m.

• Sidewinder performs at main stage at 4 p.m.

• For the safety of pets and the festival attendees, please leave your pets at home.

For more information, call 338-4104 or visit www.ncpotatofestival.com or find them on Facebook - North Carolina Potato Festival.