Tremendous Tater Returns for Fourth Appearance In First Ever 21st Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade®

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — The World’s Largest Potato on Wheels has joined the lineup of the First Ever 21st Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® to be held Sunday, March 17, on 98-foot Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs.

It will be the fourth parade appearance for the four-ton Big Idaho® Potato and its accompanying truck and trailer — at a combined 72 feet long. The spud made its first appearance in Hot Springs’ tremendous little parade in 2019. The parade was held in modified form during the covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and the tater returned to the full-fledged parade on Bridge Street in 2022 and 2023.

“The potato and its trailer almost fill the length of Bridge Street,” according to Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the parade. “It’s always fun to watch that big dude make the 90-degree turn off Central Avenue onto Bridge Street. It’s always been a very close call, but the crew has made it three previous times, and we’re counting on them to do it again March 17.”

“The potato is woven deep into the heritage of Ireland and the millions of Irish Americans whose ancestors fled the Great Potato Famine of 1845 – 1852,” Arrison said. “That catastrophe left a million Irish people dead and saw a million more emigrate to the United States and other parts of North America.”

“While the Big Idaho® Potato will bring still more zany fun to our World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade®, it will also serve as a reminder of why so many Americans trace their ancestry and cultural heritage back to Ireland,” he said.

The spectacular spud, sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission, travels the country annually, making nearly 70 appearances at events across America.

It is the equivalent of 21,562 Idaho® potatoes, according to its sponsors. A real tremendous tuber of that size would take 7,000 years to grow, they say. It would take two years in a hot oven to bake and would make 20,217 servings of mashed potatoes or 970,380 french fries. It is 802 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which tipped the scales at 11 pounds.

The two-day parade weekend in Hot Springs already includes legendary Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith as the celebrity grand marshal and Forrie J. Smith, who plays Lloyd on the “Yellowstone” TV series, as the official parade starter.

On Saturday, March 16, the weekend’s activities will include the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Zero K® footrace at 4 p.m. and a free public concert starring country music legend Pat Green and Arkansan Bonnie Montgomery in the Bridge Street Entertainment District at 7 p.m. The pop cover band The Molly Ringwalds will perform a free public concert immediately following the parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The parade, which began in 2004, annually attracts crowds of upwards of 30,000 people to watch an insanely zany collection of Irish Elvis impersonators, comic marching units such as Paddy O’Furniture, Irish belly dancers and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as well as other unique units cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use.

For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.