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Getting up close and personal with 'Glowtato' before fourth annual Idaho Potato Drop

Organizers say this year you can expect lots of surprises and new additions at the fourth annual Idaho Potato Drop. (KBOI photo)

On Saturday, Boise’s Capital lawn will be filled with thousands of spectators waiting to ring in 2017 with the Idaho Potato Drop.

KBOI 2 was able to get up close and personal with this year’s potato, and organizers say this year you can expect lots of surprises and new additions.

“It was just an idea that I had several years ago,” said Dylan Cline, founder and CEO of the Idaho Potato Drop, as he reminisced sitting on his couch and watching a documentary on the ball drop in New York when the idea came to him. “I just thought It’d be a really fun idea to drop a potato.”

Four years later, the annual Potato Drop has become one of the Gem State’s most treasured New Year’s traditions.

“It is literally a full time job year round,” Cline said. “We get started in mid-January and work all the way through to New Year’s Day.”

It took three months, a team of engineers, and a half-inch fiberglass shell to create this year’s ‘Glowtato’ that will feature lights for the first time.

The Idaho Potato Drop and Idaho New Year’s Commission along with many local sponsors put on the annual celebration.

“It takes a lot to produce an event,” said Michael Nelson, the events technical director. “Especially for free for the public - from electricity to the layout to the look.”

Organizers say the week leading up to the drop is stressful, but always worth it in the end.

“My favorite part about the event is what this does for us as a community,” Nelson said.

The event begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, featuring several heated tents with various activities such as Zumba, potato sack races, wrestling matches, and even a VIP tent with a full bar.

“We can bring this team together to put on a show that is worthy of world news and puts Idaho on the map as a world destination for New Year’s Eve,” Cline said.

Don’t worry about the cold ruining your fun, there will be several heating stations around the park. And, tickets to the heated VIP tent are still available.

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