Swellin' with Melon

The world watermelon eating record stands at 11.22 pounds in 15 minutes. Rich LeFevre, America’s top-ranked male eater, set the record in Brookville, OH in 2004. Like all records, it will someday be broken. That day may indeed come on Saturday, July 30, 2005, when the second annual “Swellin’ With Melon” event occurs at the Brookville Community Picnic.

“Mr. LeFevre is certainly welcome to defend his title,” said Margo Cantrell of the Brookville Chamber of Commerce. “If he returns, he’ll be the odds-on favorite for sure, but I am confident a local hero will step up in 2005 and bring the watermelon title back to Ohio!”

Along with the coveted title of World Watermelon Eating Champion, a prize package worth $1,500 will be up for grabs at the July 30th contest. The event is sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), which sanctions world titles in hot dogs, hamburgers, corn, pizza, oysters and tamales, among other things.

“The Brookville Picnic is a classic event and we’re thrilled to be working with the Chamber to deliver the second Swellin’ with Melon contest,” said Richard Shea, president of the IFOCE. “Watermelon is an item that many competitive eaters enjoy voluntarily at home so the eaters are quite pleased to see this food item presented in a competitive format.”

The 15-minute eating contest is just one highlight of the annual Brookville Community Picnic, which runs from Thursday, July 28 to Saturday, July 30 and features a free raffle for a Pontiac Grand Am GT, fireworks, live musical entertainment, karaoke contests, baking contests, rodeo, kids games and a 5k run, among other events.

“This is the picnic’s 55th year and we are happy to bring back the Watermelon Eating Contest,” said Cantrell.

The IFOCE will handle all registration. Those interested in competing, who are 18 years of age and over, can sign up on the contests page or call (212) 627-5766 to register for the contest. A prize of $1,000 will go to the winner. Assuming the champion is not a local resident, the top local amateur eater will receive $500 in prize money.

The contest is sponsored by DG Equipment, Brookhaven Brookhaven Retirement Community, McMaken IGA Market, Subway at Arlington Road, Village NAPA Auto Parts and other local businesses. The Brookville Chamber of Commerce is organizing the Community Picnic.