THE LATEST twist in the story of a town sculpture, which has become an unlikely tourist attraction due to looking like a lunchtime snack, has been revealed - a festival in its honour.

Back in March, a sculpture was unveiled in Chepstow to mark the 10th anniversary of the Wales Coast Path.

It didn't take long before locals realised the artwork bore a passing resemblance to a tin foil-covered lunchtime snack - and the Chepstow Baked Potato legend was born.

Then, in April, Monmouthshire County Council revealed that installing the Chepstow Baked Potato had set them back £6,000.

If we take a normal-sized baked potato to cost around £5, that equates to a veritable banquet of 1,200 baked potatoes.

Later that month, the merchandise started to appear.

Crafters across the town saw the potential to sell keepsakes based on the Chepstow Baked Potato - magnets, postcards and even sweets are available to Potato Heads visiting the town.

South Wales Argus:

Now, just two months since the installation of the sculpture, Chepstow Town Council have revealed plans for the latest chapter - Chepstow Potato Festival.

This is not a half-baked idea, as the council have already thought up a plethora of ideas for events which could be held at the festival.

The idea was tabled by the Mayor, councillor Margaret Griffiths, who said: "As the town council we can ignore the response and allow the publicity to die down or popularise the Baked Potato, publicise it and promote Chepstow through a Potato Festival involving the community."

Chepstow Potato Festival

South Wales Argus:

Cllr Griffiths said that the potato had already drawn visitors to the town - with a festival having the potential to attract even more Potato Heads.

Chepstow Potato Festival could, she suggested, involve:

  • Competitions for the best potato, potatoes resembling famous people and characters;
  • Photography and painting of potatoes;
  • Children’s artwork including, potato prints, potato people, collages of potatoes;
  • Cookery demonstrations;
  • A talk on potatoes, growing them and their uses;
  • Gardener’s Question Time;
  • A Chepstow potato trail;
  • Recitation of poems and stories about potatoes as well as a poetry competition.

Cllr Griffiths said that, while no budget had yet been set aside for the event, funding could be sought from the Earmarked Reserves.

The Chepstow Potato Festival could be held in September or October of this year.