Several take part in popcorn eating contest

Sunday, October 5, 2008
Eight-year-old Kelsey Schane competed in the 5-8-year-old division of the Clay County Popcorn Festival Popcorn Eating Contest Saturday. Kelsey is the daughter of Leslie Schane, Staunton.

Corynne Moody had never eaten that much popcorn.

But she had a good time.

Moody, 8, daughter of Lydia and David Moody, Fishers, Ind., won the 5-8-year-old division of the Clay County Popcorn Festival Popcorn Eating Contest Saturday.

"I had fun," Corynne said following her victory, "but I have never ate that much popcorn."

Corynne had a lot of competition Saturday in the contest.

Seven-year-old Zach O'Dell matched her piece for piece Saturday, but Corynne managed to get all her popcorn eaten before Zach.

Zach -- a professed popcorn lover -- said he was not ready to quit eating after the contest was over.

"It's kind of hard to chew," he said. "But I'm still hungry."

Zach is the son of Nicole and Joe O'Dell, Brazil.

Dr. Julie Shaw helps coordinate the eating contest, which took place in the Forest Park Pavilion.

She said the first two years of the festival, the contest involved celebrities. However, the festival committee opened it up to people in the community last year.

"It was a first for the public last year," Shaw said. "I was just glad people would eat."

Shaw said all contestants are given a pre-measured amount of popcorn and whoever can eat it the fastest is declared the winner.

Each contestant has to eat one piece at a time and if a piece is dropped on the floor, the contestant may pick it up and eat it or they may be deducted a second on their time.

There were four divisions in Saturday's contest, including 5-8-year-olds, 9-12-year-olds, 13-17-year-olds and 18-over.

Zach's brother, Dakota, competed in the 9-12-year-old division.

Prior to the contest, Dakota, 11, was ready.

"My mom told me about it and I thought it would be cool," he said, adding he hoped to eat some sweet popcorn Saturday. "That's the best kind there is. I could eat tons of that."

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