For the Patterson Irrigator
New records, “The Blackhole,” tiaras, and an overwhelming sense of fun helped create a festive environment for this year’s annual Apricot Fiesta Pie-Eating Competition Sunday, June 1.
Alek Read, 15, tasted sweet victory with his fourth consecutive win as the pie-eating champ of the city.
Read’s strategy for winning the title was sweet and simple.
“I eat a lot,” Read said. “I like food.”
As for his contenders, the runner-up of the competition was Nayleen Yamamato, while Justin Sterlinksi walked away with a third-place merit. The top three winners were awarded a cash prize and t-shirt.
Eleven contestants of all ages sat around a table placed in front of Circle Stage, waiting to spend 90 seconds chowing down freshly-made apricot pies.
Regardless of the mild heat, a huge crowd left their shaded sanctuaries to surround the table of pie eaters and cheer on friends and family.
Excited schoolgirls, hungry young men and even finalists of the Miss Patterson program all partook in the festivity.
Two rebels stole the show by setting a new record in the history of the Fiesta’s pie-eating contest.
Nathan Gardner and Dale Torres (D.T.), both of Patterson, were the first participants in history to be disqualified from the competition.
Within the first few seconds of the count, Gardner brought to surface a fork, which he then used to shovel pie into his mouth.
“I wanted to try and beat Alek “The Blackhole” Read,” Gardner said. “I thought I’d be able to get more in the face with the fork but the judges were on that pretty fast.”
Quickly after Gardner was reprimanded for his efforts, Torres pulled out his secret weapon: a gallon of ice-cold milk, which the partners then proceeded to enjoy with their pie.
Torres was quick to defend his friend’s disqualification from the competition.
“He didn’t technically touch it with his hands,” Torres said.
Regardless of the loss, the ulterior motive was to have fun and take a very light-hearted competition light-heartedly.
“I think when you’re going up against a three-time champion like Alek Read, you kind of have to expect to lose,” Torres said.
“You might as well lose a little gracefully. That’s what me and my partner were thinking today – lose with dignity.”
Kate Brown is a temporary writer for the Patterson Irrigator. To contact the Patterson Irrigator, 892-6187 or email@example.com