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City of Greeley News

Mr. Spud Chips Makes a Return Appearance at Greeley History Museum

Person wearing blue t-shirt that has a cartoon of a potato on it wearing cowboy hat and boots and the words Mr. Spud Chips.

GREELEY, Colo. — For Greeleyites who find potato chips appealing, the Greeley History Museum is stepping back into the city’s history and bringing back a spokes-potato just in time to celebrate National Potato Chip Day (March 14).

Mr. Spud Chips, created in 1946 as a logo for the Greeley Spud Chip Factory, is enjoying time in the spudlight with a cool new T-shirt available in the museum’s shop.

“It’s a fun nod to our city’s history with potatoes. In the late 1800s, potatoes became the main cash crop for Greeley area farmers and were shipped nationwide via rail,” says Chris Bowles, City of Greeley museums manager. “Many people may not know that there were several potato chip factories here in Greeley, including the Greeley Spud Chip Factory with Mr. Spud Chips as its mascot.”

The cartoon character, in western regalia, was part of the factory’s marketing efforts. The factory in east Greeley was in operation from the 1930s into the 1950s, when it was sold to Clover Foods.

The preponderance of potatoes in Greeley sprouted a legacy of events that celebrated the starchy vegetable. The first Potato Day was held downtown in Lincoln Park on October 18, 1894, with 6,000 people in attendance.  The following year the attendance grew to 15,000 (more than Weld County’s entire population).

In 1906 Greeley’s 4th of July celebration honored the potato by naming the weekend event Greeley Spud Days. In 1922, a Rodeo and Horseshow were added to the festivities. Because of the popularity of the rodeo, Spud Days eventually became known as the Spud Rodeo.

As the importance of potatoes to Greeley’s economy tailed off to be replaced by cattle, the rodeo was redubbed “Go West with Greeley” in 1947.  Then, in 1971, the name was officially changed again to what is now called the Greeley Independence Stampede.

The limited-edition T-shirt is available at the Greeley History Museum Shop, 714 8th Street, open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It comes in three colors – sea salt blue, barbecue red and cracked pepper black. A QR code on the back links to a blog about the history of Greeley’s starchy past.


Release Date:
Mar 5, 2024

Chris Bowles, Museums Manager

Contact Us

Communication and Engagement Office

1000 10th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631


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