Potato seasons typically last only six weeks, so brokers have to line up crops from multiple regions to ensure year-round fresh potatoes. From mid-June through the end of July, 17,000 acres of farmland around Elizabeth City help fill in gaps in growing seasons up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Prince Edward Island’s crop normally wanes just in time for North Carolina’s, which tides over Canadian markets with fresh potatoes until Ontario’s crop is ready for harvest. Florida’s season typically ends just as North Carolina’s starts. To celebrate before the fast and furious harvest, Elizabeth City Downtown hosts the North Carolina Potato Festival. The event has its roots in the 1940s, but was on-again, off-again until 2001. Nissan of Elizabeth City, Toyota of Elizabeth City, the United States Coast Guard, and Bojangles were among this year’s top sponsors. 40,000 visitors were expected to turn out for food, entertainment, rides including a Ferris Wheel and bumper cars, and competitions like the National Potato Peeling Contest.