J.R. Simplot Co. is throwing a giant french fry party for the city of Boise Thursday afternoon. And, yes, there will be fry sauce for those who prefer it to ketchup.
Organizers don’t expect everyone to come — but they’ll have 5,000 pounds of fries at hand to cook up for anyone who does show up between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Celebration Circle, which is on the 9th Street side of JUMP, 1000 Myrtle St.
“We don’t expect to serve more than 2,000 pounds,” Simplot spokesman Josh Jordan said. “That’s one of the things about a first-time event like this. We could see anywhere from 500 to 5,000 people.”
Temperatures will range from 95 to 100 during this event, according to National Weather Service forecasters. But party-goers can eat the fries at tables set up under eight tents. Free bottled water will be available, too.
This event isn’t expected to break any fry-eating world records. Folks in Grand Forks, North Dakota, gobbled up 5,130 pounds of fries at a Simplot event in 2014 for the “largest single serving of french fries” record.
So why is Free Fry Day on Thursday — not Friday, which sounds more apropos? Thursday happens to be National French Fry Day. Also, this party is Simplot’s way of saying “thank you” to city residents for enduring two years of construction at the Downtown site.
They’re hoping to make Free Fry Day an annual tradition. The giant fryer they’re using for the big party was first used at last year’s frigid Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Jordan said 60 Simplot employees have volunteered to set up, cook and serve french fries at the event. Ten designated servers will be ready to hand out free fries right at 4 p.m. Organizers are asking people to bring a canned food item to donate to Idaho Food Bank.
The parking garage at JUMP is open to the public, starting at 4 p.m. Also, there’s a city garage directly across the street from JUMP (and the first hour is free).