CROWN POINT — Amandalyn Macewicz showed up to the Showcase Tent with an empty stomach and a mind full of determination. After five years of competing, the 13-year-old from Hammond was ready to bring home the first-place trophy.
And that’s exactly what she did Thursday at the Lake County Fair.
Macewicz and six other hungry kids participated in the annual pie-eating contest.
“I’m feeling pretty full,” Macewicz said with a blue-stained smile. “I’ve been getting second place, but I was ready to win this year.”
The rules of the contest were simple. Participants were given seven minutes to eat as much of their blueberry pies as they could without the use of their hands.
When the seven minutes finished, each pie was weighed to see who ate the most.
Wearing black plastic bags as ponchos, each eater pigged out against the clock.
Family and friends watched on, cheering for the competitors as they made their way through the desserts.
Clapping and comments such as “You got this” and “Don’t give up” rang throughout the tent during the contest. Bea, the fair's Honeybee Mascot, buzzed around to cheer on the kids, too.
When the judges warned the eaters they had hit the halfway mark, breathing started to get deeper and more water bottles were tipped back to help push them through.
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In the end, Macewicz would emerge as champion. Her pie only weighed four ounces when it was all over.
“Don’t eat blueberry pie during the year,” Macewicz said as a piece of advice for future pie-eating competitors.
Kina Clark, 12, from Lansing, placed second and Luke Martin, 12, from Valparaiso, took home the third-place trophy.
AJ Carlson won in the 15-and-older division.
The Gary man’s apple pie started out weighing 4 1/2-pounds and after the 10-minute contest was over, it weighed a mere nine ounces.
“I just smashed and kept going. I kept shoveling,” said Carlson, who originally didn't have plans to participate in the pie-eating contest. His sister signed him up for it by surprise. “My stomach’s hurting now.”
Tristan Hann from Donovan, Illinois, placed second and Joe Reed from Lowell finished third.
There's one more food-driven contest left at the fair.
Those willing to test their stomachs can participate in the fair food eating contest at 12:30 p.m. Friday in the Showcase Tent. With registration beginning at noon, each participant will be challenged with eating a corn dog, ear of corn, funnel cake or elephant ear and lemonade.
Gates to the Lake County Fair, which runs through Sunday, open at 9 a.m. daily.