OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Jay Cutler, fruitcake contest are Santa Claus, Ind. claims-to-fame

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-10-02T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Jay Cutler, fruitcake contest are Santa Claus, Ind. claims-to-fameBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Earlier this week I received a reminder that Santa's Candy Castle in downstate Santa Claus, Ind. is hosting a Fruitcake Eating Contest at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The competition serves as a qualifying event, with the winner earning a spot Dec. 7 at the table in The International Fruitcake Eating Championship, the annual event held in Santa Claus which is part of the town's Santa Claus Christmas Celebration.

Last year, the event was filmed by a production company for a Travel Channel special that is expected to air during this 2013 Christmas season. The fruitcake event is sponsored by Beatrice Bakery, which has been baking its famous Grandma's Fruitcake since 1917, along with Santa's Candy Castle, which became the nation's first themed attraction when launched in December 1935.

This year's championship event will also feature a notable contestant, Mick Foley, a three-time WWE Champion who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The general public is invited to attend this Saturday's event as spectators. Anyone interested in competing in the event should pre-register by calling (812) 544-2173 or by sending an email to info@santascandycastle.com.

Santa Claus, Ind. also enjoys a football claim-to-fame since Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler, who turned 30 this year, grew up there. Today, his parents Jack and Sandy now live just outside Valparaiso, near Chesterton. Jack, an Indiana State Trooper, graduated from Chesterton High School in 1974.

Still flying high

On Friday afternoon, Crown Point High School students will head to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from Crown Point's space name, NASA astronaut Jerry Ross. Ross is participating in "Science Works: Cool Jobs, Hot Careers," a free, focused career fair. The event features numerous career stations, as well as in-depth one-on-one sessions with professionals, like Ross. FYI: MSIChicago.org

In harmony

It's not often these days to find the talents of a barbershop quartet center stage and in the spotlight. Chorus of the Dunes Barbershop Harmony is presenting "Remember When," at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, featuring a selection of groups, including The Chorus of the Dunes, barbershop singers under the direction of Carol Fentress, along with Tyler Circle Quartet, Daily News Quartet, The Hoosier Grandpas Vocal Group and special guest Harbor Lights. The event is at the Family Life Center and Banquet Hall at Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, 7950 Marshall St. in Merrillville. Tickets are $15 and available at the door or call organizer Tom Clark at (219) 508-7412.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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