The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 28, 2013

Crowd eyes PotatoFest treats

Dave Sutor

EBENSBURG — In many forms – from pierogies to french fries, chips to soups, pancakes to candy – individuals dined upon the simple, yet versatile, spud during the 22nd annual Ebensburg PotatoFest on Saturday.

There were musical performances and children’s activities, too. But mostly, people ate a whole lot of potatoes.

Scott Kopco, an Ebensburg resident, was one of the vendors offering food.

He sold hot potato soup made from his father-in-law’s recipe.

“I love it,” said Kopco, who called his business Pappy’s Potato Soup. “This is the best event. There are so many people coming to town.”

Getting ready for the festival took a full week of preparation for Kopco and his family, including peeling 220 pounds of potatoes. “I won’t peel another potato until next year,” said Kopco. “But it’s worth it. It’s great.”

Kopco plans to donate 25 percent of the money from his sales to Ebensburg Regional Inclusive Playground, an organization that wants to build a playground for special needs children.

“We’re raising money for those kids,” said Kopco. “It’s fantastic.”

People filled the streets, buying potato foods, along with other delectable offerings, such as kettle corn, elk jerky and sausage sandwiches.

Adults participated in a wine tasting, while youngsters bounced and jumped throughout Adventures in Spudland.

Dozens of vendors sold crafts and other items, ranging from homemade wooden spoons to produce.

“PotatoFest is a great event for the community,” said Cambria County Commissioner Thomas Chernisky. “People are everywhere. Cars are parked everywhere. People walk around, enjoying the food, enjoying the crafts. It’s a great day. It’s always good to come here and be part of PotatoFest.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at