Arts and Entertainment

Watermelon eating contest returns to Fall City Days

  - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Watermelon lovers, get ready for the return of the Fall City Days watermelon-eating contest.

The annual speed-eating competition was on hiatus last year, without enough volunteer support to stage the event. But it’s back this year, as messy and juicy as ever, and possibly even more funny.

“Young Life is kind of known for its goofiness,” says Sally Kraft, who is organizing the contest along with Renee and Sean Christensen, co-chairs of Snoqualmie Valley Young Life (pictured below).

Sounds like just the kind of people needed for the competition that pits trash-bag-wearing kids and adults against their peers in a no-hands race to finish their chunk of watermelon first.

Of course, it all starts with the parade entry, which the two ladies say won’t include the shopping cart drill but will, as always, follow the Fall City Farmhouse Market entry, since the store donates all of the watermelon for the contest. Organizers say they will still make it a fun entry, though.

“It will be decidedly us in all of its quirkiness and cheesiness,” said Christensen.

Young Life is an international organization, established in 1941 to do youth outreach in schools. The Snoqualmie Valley chapter (http://svyl.younglife.org/Pages/default.aspx) was established in 2009, but really started growing in 2011, after the group hired an executive director. Locally, Young Life has weekly club meetings at the high school throughout the school year, and next year, will launch monthly club meetings at the middle schools.

Club, says Christensen, “is the fun thing. It’s the dumbest, but yet most fun games you’ve ever played.”

Another component of their outreach, says Kraft, is building relationships with youth, through young adult “leaders” who she says “just come in and hang out with them… just love them where they’re at.”

The two women are excited about the opportunity to spread awareness of Snoqualmie Valley Young Life through the watermelon-eating contest, which they are keeping much the same as in past years. It’s still free, still open to all ages, and still happening at Olive Quigley Park.

Anyone age 5 or older can participate, but those under 18 must have a parent or guardian with them.

Registration begins around noon Saturday, after the parade, at Olive Quigley Park, or participants can pre-register, by sending in the completed application, downloadable from the website, www.fallcity.org/fallcity_days.html. Registration forms must be submitted by 1 p.m. and competitors will be divided into pools starting at 1:15 p.m. The contest begins at 1:30 p.m..

Although the divisions may change depending on participation numbers, the typical groupings are ages 5 to 7, ages 8 to 10, ages 11 to 13, and ages 14 and up.

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