Posted by Amber Chang and Jocelyn Gao
Every year, thousands of people in the Bay Area gather in San Francisco’s Japantown to celebrate Japanese and Japanese American culture at the Cherry Blossom Festival. At this annual celebration, there are cultural performances, a large parade, and multiple booths selling various foods and items for the attendees to enjoy. It’s a great way to have people all over the Bay Area come together and enjoy the community through the festival. We were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to help run the Silly Spuds booth, which happened to be one of the most popular food booths at the festival! Simply put, Silly Spuds are potato chips on a stick, except instead of separate chips, the potato is sliced in a spiral form so the chips are connected. This concept is already unique, but what makes Silly Spuds even more special is the various flavors they offer, some of which are: miso, sriracha, and kettle corn. These flavors fit the atmosphere of the festival perfectly as they offer a fun and easy way to snack while walking through the festival.
Our duties, while assisting the booth, were to spread the cut potatoes on the stick, manage the extensively long line, and direct people towards the right direction. We performed our menial tasks without much difficulty and successfully sold out all the potatoes. Even though we were consistently directing others towards the correct line, it was difficult to maintain order and to have everyone cooperate with the instructions cohesively because there were many people surrounding out booth. These duties required lots of patience and communication amongst the volunteers and the people at the festival. However, despite these small grievances, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the Cherry Blossom Festival and are looking forward to our participating in it next year.