TORRINGTON – Step up to the table, bury your face in the sweet, red flesh and eat all you can.
That’s about all the instruction you need for a watermelon eating contest.
Oh, and watch out for the seeds.
Nine residents aged 10 to 27 took up that challenge Thursday during the first-of-its-kind contest, part of the regular weekly Torrington Farmers Market at City Park west of downtown. Lined up along one side of two tables set end-to-end, the contestants watched as each watermelon was halved and then quartered, lined up in front of them, ready to be devoured.
Caleb Carter, Extension Agriculture Educator with the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service for Goshen County in Torrington, said the contest was a fun way to get more people involved in the Farmers Market, currently celebrating its second season in its new digs at City Park.
The market previously was hosted at the Extension Center, located on the west end of Torrington, along U.S. Hwy. 26. But logistical concerns, including space and traffic, prompted the move into town last year,
As the last of the watermelons were sliced, eyes bulged and mouths watered. The clock was set, the starters voice cried, “Go,” and, as one, nine mouths met nine slices of melon with an audible “slurp.”
A brief 60 seconds later and, to varying degrees, watermelon had been consumed. Winners of the contest were Andrew Castron, 27, and PJ Telford, 10.
Prizes for the contest included gift cards from Pleasant Valley Greenhouse, AJ’s Soda and Bomgaars. Other sponsors included Community Hospital, SAREC, Windmill Realty, Farm Credit Services of America, JG Elliot Insurance Center and Torrington Office Supply. Spotted Tail Farms donated the watermelons for the contest.