Staff Photo by Thomas J. TurneyAnnette Bray helps Mattie Hasenauer, 6, with her tiara after she won the Little Miss Tater Tot Pageant at this years Potato Festival, Saturday. See more photos in the slideshow at www.DailyAdvance.com

Staff Photo by Thomas J. TurneyAnnette Bray helps Mattie Hasenauer, 6, with her tiara after she won the Little Miss Tater Tot Pageant at this years Potato Festival, Saturday. See more photos in the slideshow at www.DailyAdvance.com

Families flock to Potato Festival

From staff reports

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Lana Neal was enjoying herself Saturday at the 2014 N.C. Potato Festival downtown and with good reason: Day two of the three-day event featured sunny skies, with temperatures in the mid-60s.

Neal, of Elizabeth City and who has attended the annual gathering for 13 years, expressed the feeling of more than a few in the large crowds in saying why she has continued to return.

“I think it’s a wonderful family event,” Neal said. “It’s a wholesome event for both children and for families. And I think it builds good camaraderie in our community.”

Meanwhile, festival-goers should be aware that the following streets will be closed until the end of the festival Sunday evening:

• Ehringhaus Street between Water and McMorrine streets and between Colonial Avenue and Shepard Street;

• Church Street at the entrance to The Daily Advance parking lot; Fearing Street from Water to Poindexter streets; Main Street from Road to Water streets; Poindexter Street from Colonial Avenue to Fearing Street; and Martin Luther King Boulevard from Colonial Avenue to Fearing Street.

The Potato Festival is scheduled to end Sunday at 5 p.m. Streets will not be completely reopened until all vendors have left the streets. Ehringhaus Street will likely not reopen until early Monday.

The weather has been just about perfect, with a sunny sky and a temperature if 70 at 4 p.m., according to The National Weather Service.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low around 54 and light west wind.

Sunday will see a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m., and be mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. Northwest wind will be 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Sunday night, there will be a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m, then a chance of showers between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Rides at the festival will cost $1.25 each, and people can purchase wristbands allowing unlimited rides on Sunday only for $25.

The Potato Association, based in Elizabeth City, is joining the festival, running a booth outside the Museum of the Albemarle.

For a complete schedule of festival events, go to www.ncpotatofestival.com.