GET ready to jump in the 'mash' pit - or are you more of a 'chip'-hop head?

Either way, the inaugural festival inspired by a now-infamous Chepstow sculpture has been confirmed for later this year.

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

South Wales Argus: Chepstow Baked Potato

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.

Now, in possibly the biggest potato-based news in the history of Chepstow, Chepstow Town Council has confirmed the dates for the very first Chepstow Spud Fest.

South Wales Argus: Mayor of Chepstow Margaret Griffiths with (l to r) Chepstow Town Councillors  David Barnes and Dale

The free festival will be held principally in the town's historic Drill Hall and on the riverbank and the castle dell.

The finalised date for legume festivities is Saturday, October 21, from 11am to 5pm.  

Exact programme details are being finalised but a range of potato-themed events are being cooked up by the council's newly-created Chepstow Spud Fest (CSF) Working Group.

The CSF is now inviting groups and organisations within the town and any others with an interest and any spud-based ideas, to get involved in what it is hoped will become an annual festival.

Events at Chepstow Spud Fest could involve:

  • Competitions for the champion 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;
  • Potato sculpture;
  • Most imaginative use of a potato;
  • Stalls;
  • Expert talks on potatoes, growing them, their uses and cultural significance;
  • Best home-grown potato competition;
  • Gardener’s Question Time;
  • A potato sack race through the town;
  • A Chepstow potato trail;
  • Recitation of poems and stories about potatoes as well as a poetry competition and potato related music.

Mayor of Chepstow, Cllr Margaret Griffiths, who is also chairwoman of the Chepstow Spud Fest Working Group, said: "Chepstow Spud Fest is a perfect opportunity to build on the undeniable interest in the sculpture that has been generated since its unveiling on the river bank earlier this year.

"We hope that the spud fest will help to promote the town, its culture and attractions and will boost engagement with the community."

For more details about Chepstow Spud Fest, call 01291 626370 or email