Celebrate Everything Tater Tot In Ontario Oregon This Weekend

Thank brothers, Nephi and Golden Grigg for bringing this crispy potato treat to mankind.

Tater Tot Nachos! (Or "Tatchos") Image via / Facebook / Tater Tot Festival

"Hey Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!"

Did you know that the crispy, golden tater tot found its humble beginnings right here in Oregon? More on that in a moment, but first, The Tater Tot Festival!

The City of Ontario, Oregon will be holding its first annual minced-tuber-celebration on September 17 and 18, 2021.

Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival
Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival

Events will include cooking competitions (main ingredient Tots, of course), live music, a carnival, and a tot-eating-contest. Vendors will be delivering the best in gourmet tater cuisine, so come prepared to snack yourself silly.

Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival

Some of the cooking competition finalists include recipes like Steak Bomb Tot Waffles and Jalapeño Popper Tot Casserole. YES PLEASE.

Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival

The festival is sponsored by (who else?) Heinz and Revitalize Ontario. The latter is a non-profit organization committed to their vision of beautifying and enhancing the city of Ontario to promote economic growth.

Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival

"But mom...where do tater tots come from?"

Glad you asked. The origin of tater tots began in the early 1950s. Two brothers, Nephi and Golden Grigg, worked on their family’s farm selling corn and potatoes, and created the company Ore-Ida (a mashup of "OREgon" and "IDAho"). However, there was one major production issue with the machinery that sliced the potatoes into fries. They had trouble separating the fries from fragments and created slivers of irregularly shaped potatoes. The brothers were left with lots of leftover potato scraps. Where would they all go? After smashing and smushing them together, they formed small, bite-sized nuggets of potato parts. And then, the magical tater tot appeared!

Incidentally, the Tot is just one of many inventions made by enterprising Oregonians. Check out the beginnings of another fair-food favorite in this list of six creative Oregon firsts.

Thank this man, Nephi Grigg, for helping to invent the beloved Tater Tot. / Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival

Ontario, Oregon is a quaint historic town in Malheur County, connected via bridge to Fruitland, Idaho.

Image via the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Follow us for a deeper dive into Ontario (coming soon!) and all of the incredible things to do in the area.

For lots more info on the Tater Tot Festival and how to get there, follow them on FACEBOOK.


Check out the official Tater Tot Festival website.

Image via Facebook / Tater Tot Festival