There will be potatoes.

A potato peeling contest, a potato picking contest, a mashed potato eating contest and a lefse cookoff, a French fry feed, a potato pancake feed and potato car races.

But at the Potato Days festival this weekend in Barnesville, Minn., there will be no mashed potato wrestling.

Idahoan, the instant mashed potato company that had sponsored the event and supplied enough flakes to fill a wrestling pit several feet deep, decided to "solely donate" the dried spuds "to families in need instead."

Festival officials "were unable to find a reasonable alternative," the event's website reported.

The wacky wrestling event has drawn enthusiastic crowds since the spudtastic festival added it more than two decades ago. But Idahoan's choice was hard to quibble with, organizers said.

"They are using the potatoes to feed the hungry, which makes complete sense," said Potato Days director Missie Goheen. "There were people that were disappointed, but because of the cause, you know, it's kind of hard to argue that one."

A representative for Idahoan did not respond to a request for comment.

Potato Days dates back to 1938, when Barnesville boosters held the first "National Spud Picking Contest" and gave out free potato soup to highlight a crop that was then popular among area farms. Celebrations stopped for a few decades and started up again in the 1990s. This year will be the 32nd annual event.

The mashed potato wrestling contest got a boost in visibility in 2006, when Minneapolis musician-turned-adman Steve Barone won the event and made a viral YouTube video about it for the state's tourism agency, Explore Minnesota.

Under the stage name Steve O'Gratin, he went on to win two more mashed potato wrestling contests in Barnesville and another in Clark, S.D. That led the Guinness World Records to include the Lifter Puller guitarist under the record for "most wins of the mashed potato wrestling championships."

"The event in Barnesville is basically the Kentucky Derby of Mashed Potato Wrestling," Barone said. "There are other similar events held in Clark, South Dakota, and in Maine at the Potato Blossom Festival, but Barnesville was the signature venue in the United States and the signature event during Potato Days.

"Hopefully they can fill the void with something just as fun and exciting because it was an important part of their festival and a huge hit with the kids," he said.

Barone said he's retired from the mashed potato ring ("unless ESPN wants to make a documentary"), but still recalls the thrill and the extremely challenging nature of the event.

"I remember not being able to breathe in the wet, cement-like potatoes, finding potatoes weeks after matches lodged in my wristwatch that had fermented, the cheering kids, and arriving one year to the pit on a helicopter," he said.

His initial win led him to form a group called the Mashed Potato Wrestling Federation of the Universe and return several times to the festival with a costumed crew of Twin Cities wrestlers.

"We all had potato related wrestling names — Yukon Golden Boy, Rowdy Roddy Potato Head, Sweet Potato," he said. "Dick-Tater was our manager."

Back in Barone's day, the festival sourced enough inedible flakes that had been swept up from factory floors or were outdated to fill the pit. Post-match, the wrestled-in potatoes were fed to local cows. He's hoping organizers can find another similar solution in years to come.

"Bring back mashed potato wrestling to Barnesville!" he said.