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The Big Potato goes from tattered tater to sophisticated spud in N.B. town

Maugerville’s Big Potato attracted a lot of spect-taters Saturday as it was unveiled following a major renovation.

The iconic statue, situated in the small New Brunswick town, went from a tattered tater to a sophisticated spud.

"I think it really matters to the farming community and I hope it's going to be something that lasts,” said Michelle O’Neill of Silver Valley Farms, owner of the Big Potato.

New owners of the farm raised $10,000 on GoFundMe to keep the potato from being mashed as its concrete was chipping away after standing more than 50 years.

But it was not without challenges.

"Albert Deveau was supposed to come out and do the restoration,” said Daniel Boudreau, owner of Silver Valley Farms. Deveau unfortunately passed away before he was able to restore the statue.

“That left us scrambling looking for another contractor,” Boudreau said. That’s where Leon Daigle came in.

For Daigle, it was his first time doing this sort of masonry repair.

"It's all related with masonry,” he said. “It's what we do with restoration and stuff.”

Wayne Ferris, who stopped by the unveiling of the Big Potato, says preserving the statue is the right move.

“It’s a part of the community. It's been here for years and I think it's a great idea that they did that,” said Farris.

The unveiling of the Big Potato comes after the community banded together to keep their iconic top-hatted tater from being mashed.

"I'm very excited about it,” said Kimberly Day, a lifelong resident of Maugerville. “I was born in 1969, the year he was built, and the idea of losing the figure here in Maugerville was so overwhelming. I'm so glad that they were able to rebuild it.”

The potato was first installed by Winston Bronnum. It was built out of rebar and mesh and concrete, and commissioned by Karl Harvey.

"Every time we passed by it, we'd say, ‘Look! There’s the Big Potato!’ and it would put a smile on our faces,” said Alfred Vinneau, who donated to the GoFundMe campaign for the repair.

“That’s an icon that's been here forever,” he said. “I'm glad that people donated for that. It's not just part of the farm here, it's part of the whole community.”

Once the Harvey family's farm, now owned by Silver Valley, the Harvey’s are thrilled to see the Big Potato's legacy carry on for generations.

“It was getting in pretty bad shape. Danny did a great job of getting it organized and getting it fixed up,” said Buzz Harvey, former owner of the Big Potato. Top Stories

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