BOISE -- The Idaho Potato Drop is getting rave reviews. Plenty of Idahoans are talking about it, and so are folks across the country. But will it happen next year? Organizer Dylan Cline says, yes, but not without some changes.
There were a few skeptics heading into the inaugural Idaho Potato Drop, and none of us, not even the founder, Dylan Cline, knew exactly what to expect New Year's Eve night. However, what we got, thanks to the work of Cline and many others, seemed like a big success. Thousands crammed on to the Grove Plaza, surrounding streets, and parking garages as they tried to get a glimpse of the giant potato's drop.
"The event, the turnout was amazing," said Cline.
Cline hoped for 30,000 to 40,000 people in attendance. It's hard to say if they got that, but it's easy to say that there was little room for many more people. "I couldn't believe the sea of people last night," said Cline. "The entire Capital City Terrace Parking Garage was full. Literally, every level was full, all the way across. Every street was full. Main Street was packed. 8th Street was packed. Every corridor was packed. The Grove was entirely packed. It was just ridiculous."
Downtown bars and restaurants were happy with the turnout too. Cline says many told him they saw more people through their doors, thanks to the event. Also, Cline says he was happy that it was still a family atmosphere, with the beer garden fenced off, and rides and shows for the kids.
However, there will most likely be changes next year, starting with having more sponsors or investors. Cline spent a lot of his own money to get this thing off the ground, and says that will have to change if people want to see this event grow. "I financed almost the entire thing this year myself to bring a free community event to the public. I financed about $75,000 on this thing. So, hopefully next year, I can make some money."
Cline said that the $75,000 out of pocket was worth it, to see the event go off like it did.
There are some other changes we could see next year, like a different location to accommodate more people. Cline says they could re-locate to the JUMP Project, or the new 8th and Main Building.
Also, they'll likely auction off this year's spud, and build a whole new one that will have a kind of exoskeleton, and glow from within. It will be kind of like the ball they drop in New York, except, of course, a potato.