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PoCo Fest: 17th year in North Branford

July 24, 2018

Thousands of people have had fun since the early 2000s at the North Branford Potato & Corn Festival, and we’ve had fun with its name, pointing out that there’s something delightfully droll about that moniker, created by then-Parks and Recreation Director Pam Gery when she came here from another community that had a potato festival and heard of this town’s corn fields.

Festival organizers embrace the simplicity of title on their website, saying that “corn and potatoes are considered common, some might even say lowly, but on the first weekend of August, the residents of North Branford elevate the two starchy staples to extraordinary heights.” In its 17th year, the fest brings in thousands of visitors to the sleepy suburbs-and-farm town. And we’ve noticed a cooler version of the name has caught on with locals: PoCo Fest.

The three-day fest promises another fun-filled time, located in a hay field at the former Augur Farm on Rt. 22. There’s a midway with rides, two dozen food vendors, craft vendors, potato sack races, corn-hole tournament Saturday with cash prizes, corn-shucking contests, tractor pulls and a classic car show. Several bands will perform and there’s a fireworks display on Saturday night and a 5K race on Sunday morning. Also at PoCo Fest: no shortage of baked potatoes and roasted corn.

New this year, says organizer Bill Merrick: donkey rides; an photo exhibit, a beer and wine garden Sunday afternoon, a talent showcase and radio-controlled aerial show.

Potato & Corn Festival, Augur Field, Route 22, North Branford, Thursday, Aug. 3, 5-11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission. nbpotatofest.com

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