Fried, mashed or roasted, it would be hard to find a more popular and useful vegetable than the humble potato.
In Robertson - where the spud has been king of the crops for decades thanks to the rich, red soil found locally - it's even more revered, being the subject of the much-loved Big Potato monument on the main street.
Now Robertson will have even more reason to praise the potato and pass the chips, with a whizz-bang Potato Festival confirmed for next autumn (April 30-May 1).
"From a timing point of view, it's captured everyone's imagination," said organiser and spud-lover Gary Fitz-Roy, who has been farming in the district for 25 years, and also runs Expertise Events, which is spearheading the festival plans.
"The whole town's really excited, and the Chamber are looking to support it."
Mr Fitz-Roy's vision is far bigger than just a few stalls selling spiral fries at the Robertson Showground.
The Robertson Potato Festival aims to be an annual entertainment event bringing the locals together, as well as providing a weekend getaway to attract visitors to the Highlands as a whole.
The event will feature education and demonstrations, tools, equipment, and supplies, various competition stages and a full music program to entertain the crowds.
Dedicated stalls and competition stages will host interactive events such as the peeling competition, potato mash speed eating and sculpture competitions along with cooking demos, sampling of different varieties and of potato-based international dishes.
"It'll be interactive in an old school way and our goal is to shine a spotlight on Robertson as a fun town to visit and encourage tourism in the district, providing a boost to counteract the last two years affected by COVID.
"For the last two decades (and maybe longer) there has been talk about establishing a Potato Festival, so we are pleased to drive the launch of this exciting event and invite any locals who want to participate to contact us - we welcome their proposals."
He said that Robertson is in a position to reap some tourist rewards.
"The big change that's happening is we've become a foodie destination, so we're hoping the Potato Festival highlights and supports that," he said.
"This is playing to Robbo's strengths: we have the Big Potato, we produce them, we're very lucky to have some of the top cafes and producers, and we're so close to Sydney.
"We need to captialise on that to get people back - it's really about tourism and injecting some life into the town."
Mr Fitz-Roy said he believes it won't be a straightforward path to building business back up to pre-COVID levels.
"We can't be arrogant and think people will just fly back into town - we need to work at it and get people back into our towns," he said.
From a more general perspective, Mr Fitz-Roy said Premier Dominic Perrottet's announcement on Thursday that events are back on the cards sooner than expected was a welcome relief.
Adjustments to the roadmap to recovery yesterday included the news that up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors (previously 20) and up to 3,000 people will be allowed to attend controlled and ticketed outdoor events (previously 500).
"Events have been closed for over 18 months, and it's been torturous," he said.
"Now we have what we've been seeking for 18 months, and that's one word - confidence.
"Exhibitors won't book space, accommodation or travel if they think they'll get caught by a restriction."
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