Watermelon eating contest a highlight of park social

| August 5, 2019

Kohlten Moore shows off the technique that earned him a first place prize in the age six and under class of the watermelon eating contest held Sunday, Aug. 4 at the River View Community Park annual social. Jen Jones | Beacon

WARSAW – The first weekend in August is a time for friends, family and fun at the River View Community Park annual social. The highlights of the weekend include a baseball tournament, chicken barbeque, music, watermelon eating contest and a duck race.

Jesse Fischer, park board president, said the weather was perfect for the social this year. “We sold 720 chicken halves today and are sold out.” He said some people eat there while takeout containers were also available. “The turnout was amazing today. And yesterday, we had 12 baseball teams come for the tournament – one from as far away as Russia, Ohio. It’s just been an amazing day.”

Fischer said the watermelon eating contest and duck race were always fun and people look forward to them each year. “The watermelon contest has four age groups and each group can have 12 participants. We have anywhere from 30 – 50 kids eating as fast as they can.” This year, one age group had 15 children competing.

“They just eat as much as they can in the allotted time,” said Fischer. “The top three in each class gets prizes and all of the prizes are donated by local sponsors and businesses.” Fischer said the park would like to thank everyone for their support and the donations they received.

The first class to compete in the watermelon eating contest on Sunday, Aug. 4, was ages six and under. This class was allowed to use their hands to hold their watermelon and had two minutes to eat as much as possible. When the time limit was up, three judges examined the pieces to determine which child had eaten the most watermelon.  Kohlten Moore placed first, Kixx Mobley was second and Jaxon Sampsel was third.

The next class was ages seven to 10. They could use their hands but could not stand up. First place went to Maggie DeLand, second to Kira Hepner and third to Blaze Klein. This class had two minutes, also.

For the age 11–14 class, no hands could be used. The participants used their elbows to hold their watermelon as they ate as fast as they could. There was no time limit on this class – when the judges determined someone had finished their watermelon, everyone stopped eating and a second and third place winner was announced. Devan Garrett was first, Cruz Mobley second and Aaron Gorsuch third.

After helping with several events, including clean up, at the social, several members of the River View High School football team (and their coach) competed in the oldest class, ages 15 and over. They had to stand and be blindfolded to eat their watermelon. If it fell off the table, they were disqualified. Kadden Mobley finished his watermelon first and judges decided that Cal Shrimplin was second and Hayden Martin third.

After the watermelon eating contest, people lined the banks of the creek to watch the duck race. All day, people could “adopt” a numbered duck. The plastic ducks were dumped into the creek at the starting line and the first five ducks to get to the finish line were the winners. Cash prizes were given to those who “bought” those ducks.

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