Since 1934, Merrill Oregon has hosted the Klamath Basin Potato Festival. Locals have celebrated Queen Balls, BBQs, parades, and football in October honoring our farming heritage. As time has passed, the festival has changed the queens’ gowns, the rules of the parade, and the types of commercial potatoes put on display. The festival has gone from 10 pages booklets to 5-page flyers. The committees have aged and changed, but generations of families have committed themselves to the festival.
The potato, tuber, or spud allowed this festival to survive drought, taxes, and NO WATER. But, “Gold WAS DISCOVERED in MERRILL.” The POTATO.
1973 – Theme: “I’m the little Potato – eater.”
1982 – The program cover celebrated the Arial Applicators in the Klamath Basin.
1983 – Cover Photo is the same as the Cover Photo in 2020.
1985 – Honor Roll was considered the current “Grand Marshalls.”
1987 – Queen Award was a watch.
1990 – The dance theme was “Sound Machine.”
1991 – Klamath Basin Potatoes are produced on 33.5 acres annually.
1992 – Commercial Packers Display was created.
1994 – Merrill turned 100!
1995 – Our future, our children.
1996 – 60 Years of the Festival.
1997 – The evolution of irrigation water was included in the booklet.
1998 – Queen award was a buckle set.
2000- Best of Show Awards were plaques.
2002- 2001 there was not a festival due to a bad water year.
2003 – Cascade Civil War Society exhibited a living history demonstration.
2004 -“The Colors of Autumn Reds, Russets, Netted Gems, Norkota’s, White’s, and Golds.”
2020 – Covid – 19