Yam Festival full of sweet potatoes
Tabor City is hosting the 39th Annual Yam Festival through the weekend, however you won’t find any yams there, only sweet potatoes.
There’s a common misconception as to whether it’s a yam or a sweet potato. Tabor City is hosting what they call the Yam Festival but these sure look a lot like sweet potatoes.
So what’s the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?
“I guess the spelling as much as anything, I’m not a horticulturist, but they tell me really what we are celebrating here is not really the yam, it’s the sweet potato,” said Senator RC Soles.
“Well, a yam is good and the other one if you leave it out, it’s rotten, and if you keep it in the refrigerator, it’s still good,” said Juliana Barnes.
Lagrant Bellamy said, “The only difference between a yam and a sweet potato, is you got sweet potatoes when the dirt’s on them, when you wash the dirt off of ‘em, they yams.”
“Uhhh, yam, that the Yam Festival is named after, is actually found in Africa, it’s in the same family as with the sweet potato, it’s a root-stock plant, just like the sweet potato, it’s higher in starch, it’s not really got the same sweet flavor that’s associated with sweet potatoes,” said Howard Wallace, a Columbus County horticulture agent.
So we’ve determined even though it’s called the Yam Festival, you will only find sweet potatoes at it. Regardless, the locals are fired up about this festival and they can’t wait for this weekend.
Tonight at the Yam Festival there is a tailgate on Main Street until 9:00 and the Yam Bowl as South Columbus High hosts East Bladen at 7:30. Saturday’s fun begins with a parade through downtown Tabor City at 10:00 a.m. Festivities run until 5:00 p.m. and include a cook-off and auction of prize-winning sweet potatoes, not yams.
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