CROWN POINT — Thursday was the Williams family’s day at the fair.
For the first time, the Schererville family attended the Lake County Fair together.
Daniel Williams, the patriarch of the family, said they decided to sign up for any contest they could that was being offered Thursday.
Family members were among top finishers in several of the competitions, and they were particularly successful in the pie eating contest.
Daniel Williams placed third in the 15 and older division. His son, Titus Williams, also took home third place in the youth division.
Daniel Williams was all smiles after the event.
“That was exciting to do,” he said.
It was several minutes after the youth contest before Titus Williams could talk about his third place finish. That’s because his mouth was still full of blueberry pie after the event.
When he could eventually talk, he said the contest was a little difficult, but he enjoyed the experience.
Daniel Williams said he couldn’t have been happier about his first time at the fair.
“We’ll definitely have to come back again,” he said.
The rules of the contest were simple. Participants in each division were given 10 minutes to eat as much of their pies as they could without the use of their hands.
The youth division had blueberry pies and the 15 and older group had apple.
Participants wore black plastic bags like ponchos before they began eating. That might have kept their clothes clean, but it couldn’t stop their faces from getting messy.
Several of the contestants were covered with pie from their noses to below their chins. Some even managed to get pie on their foreheads.
During the contest, participants took sips of water as they made their way through the desserts.
When the 10 minutes finished, each pie was weighed to see who ate the most.
Ariana Benitez, of Griffith, won second place in the 15 and older division.
She said she was “so happy” with her performance.
This is the third time Benitez has participated in the fair’s pie eating contest. Last year, she took home third, and she missed second place at that time “by one bite,” Benitez said.
In her approach this year, Benitez focused on the apple slices in the pie and tried to eat as many of them as she could.
She said she is a competitive person and an eater, and she was contemplating participating in Friday's fair food eating contest.