Sep 30, 2023

The Church Of The Holy Potato

Black Creek United Methodist Church Restaurant
Bloomsburg Fair (2023)
This empty building on the Fairgrounds near the Grandstand Building may not be obvious to folks who are visiting the Bloomsburg Fair for the first time this year, but it's very noticeable to the people who go every year.

September 24, 2019

This building was once the home of a restaurant on the Fairgrounds that was operated by the Black Creek United Methodist Church from Sugarloaf, PA.  They've been serving up baked potatoes and other good things to eat and drink every year at the Bloomsburg Fair since 1953.  They're not the only church that has a food stand at the Fair.  In fact, there are quite a few, but this one stood out for a few reasons.

The setup inside this building was simple, but charming... just a counter where you could order your food and a few rows of tables with plenty of seating to sit and enjoy your meal.  It was a place where you could go to stay dry from the rain, or to take shade in years that were especially hot and sunny.  I refer to it as a restaurant because being here felt like something more than being at a food stand.
September 24, 2019

When we go to the Fair, I tend to look for foods that are either strange or unusual, or the kind of thing that I wouldn't think to make for myself at home.  None of the things on their menu really fit into that category, but I still found myself coming back here quite a few times over the years.  I remember eating here with my grandparents when I was a kid, and a few times throughout my adult life.  The most recent time I can be sure of is when we stopped here for a bite to eat before the Cheap Trick concert at the 2019 Bloomsburg Fair.  I had a baked potato topped with buffalo chicken that night, and I remember that it was very tasty.

September 27, 2022
September 23, 2014

Even if you've never eaten here before, the giant baked potato sign next to the church steeple on top of the building was pretty tough to miss.  When I came here with my grandparents as a kid, I called it The Church Of The Holy Potato because... well... from a child's perspective, that's sort of what it looked like.

The place was most definitely run by a church, but there was no potato worship going on in here.  Just a good and honest meal served up for a fair price, with the proceeds going towards the church outreach program who help people who are in need.
September 25, 2023

This was taped to the window on the building this year.  For the first time in 70 years, the giant baked potato will not be looking down on folks at the Bloomsburg Fair.  If they have a reason why they've decided not to participate, I am not aware of it, but the wording they used doesn't leave a lot of room to hope that they're just taking a year off.  This seems final, and it's a bummer.  So, there's nothing left to do but to say thank you for making me smile every time I saw your stand, and for god only knows how many potatoes you must have served up to folks since 1953.