Friday, May 11, 2018

PotatoFest 2018

On Saturday, 19 May 2018 at the historic Meetinghouse at the First Parish, East Derry there will be a PotatoFest celebrating the introduction of the first white potato grown in New England by the Scots Irish settlers who arrived here in the spring of 1719.  Because of its local history, in 2013 the white potato became the official state vegetable of the state of New Hampshire. 

This fun history related event is co-hosted by the Friends of the Meetinghouse and the Historical Preservation Committee.   Local history will be celebrated with activities for all ages including potato stamping, potato creatures, potato haiku.  There will be information tables about the history of Nutfield (Londonderry, Derry and Windham, New Hampshire, settled by the Ulster Presbyterians who fled Northern Ireland).   Of course, there will be food and raffles, too.  The event will be family friendly, with lots of activities for the kids.

There will be lightning talks – 12 minute presentations about history, historical preservation, and local agriculture all throughout the time of the PotatoFest.  Some of the speakers include Paul Lindemann of the Friends of the Meetinghouse, and Mark Mastromarino of the Derry History Museum.  You just might learn something new about the local history of Derry, or about the migration story of the Scots Irish.

The Friends of the Meetinghouse will also have information available about the renovations on the historic building, the biggest historic preservation project currently under way in the state of New Hampshire.

The Potato Shrine in the 1960s
from the book Derry Revisited, by Holmes and Dugan, 2005

PotatoFest 19 May 2018  10am to 2pm
Meetinghouse at First Parish
47 East Derry Road
East Derry, New Hampshire  03041
(603) 434-0628

First Parish Congregational Church website: 

To learn more about the history of the first potatoes grown in Derry, New Hampshire:

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