Volunteer peelers make potato salad at Ohio German festival after fire scorches spud side dish

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OREGON, Ohio — A fire that destroyed one-and-a-half tons of potato salad isn't stopping the Toledo area's German American Festival from serving up the homemade side dish this weekend.

The fire in a refrigeration truck early Friday ruined the prepared potato salad, hundreds of gallons of sauerkraut and other food on opening day. Within hours, volunteer peelers brandishing paring knives were skinning spuds to replace what was scorched. The Blade newspaper reports the volunteers included one in a shirt with script that read "Pete's Power Peelers."

The festival's chairman tells WTOL-TV it took nearly 150 people to prepare the original potato salad, and the festival was committed to serving a homemade replacement.

The festival in the city of Oregon typically serves hundreds of pounds of potato salad on each day of the event.

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