It all started with Potato Picking

The Potato Picking Contest was the event that started the whole festival in 1938. Today, the Potato Picking Contest has both the highest stakes ($250 for first prize) and continues to attract people from miles around. The contest, as tradition has it, will start at 9:30 AM on Saturday at the sound of a whistle whether rain or shine. For the older generation who remember picking potatoes by hand, it's fun to marvel at the speed and skill of the pickers. For the younger generation, it's a chance to see what back-breaking work is all about!

The field is located 1 block south of McGrath Park, watch for the signs.

All contestants, young and old, guy or gal, will compete for a total of $510 in prizes!

There is no entry fee to enter the contest. Pickers may choose to bring their own baskets or baskets will be available at the event. Registration will be limited to the first 12 entrants.

Contact Potato Days at or  the Spudline at (800) 525-4901.

Event proudly sponsored by


In the spirit of the National Potato Picking Contest which was held during the 40's and 50's in Barnesville, men and women contestants and hundreds of spectators will gather at the potato field to once again relive a part of our past.

Contestants must be 14 or older.  Any contestants under age 18 must have a signed registration form completed by a parent or guardian.

As the tradition, the contest will begin promptly at 9:30 am.  At that time contestants will begin picking their way down their row of potatoes, placing potatoes in the provided sacks.  Contestants may also choose to utilize baskets, which are provided.  A gleaner shall pick at least 15 feet behind each contestant, with each pound of gleanings that go over a one inch screen counting off 5 pounds from the total weight of the potatoes picked.

The contest will end when the first contestant reaches the end of his or her row.  At that time, total weight of dirt, vines and stones picked by each contestant shall also be deducted from the gross weight picked.  The winner will be the contestant who has the highest total pounds to his credit after deducting any penalties.

aUGUST 27 & 28, 2021

aUGUST 26 & 27, 2022