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Corn dog eating contest highlights Hay Dayz

The approaching inaugural Hay Dayz festival promises to have a county fair feel to it, and part of what will lend that sensation will be the corn dog eating contest sponsored by Foster Farms, which will provide judges for the contest.

“Foster Farms volunteered to be in charge of the corn dog eating contest, since we are the largest corn dog manufacturer in the world,” said Foster Farms facility superintendent Walton Roberts. “We’ll have people representing the company and the plant here in Demopolis help to put this event on.

“We want to be a big part of the community. We want to help the community. We give to the fireworks, we give to Christmas on the River — we give to everything we possibly can so we can help keep things going around here! We’re proud to be able to do this.”

The contest will take place on Saturday, Aug. 14, at noon at the Demopolis Botanical Gardens at the intersection of Washington Street and Glover Avenue. Contestants need to register in advance, and the entry fee is $10. To register, contact the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce at (334) 289-0270 or pick up a registration form at the Chamber office at 102 E. Washington St.

“We’d like for people to pre-register,” said Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer Tate. “That way, we can get a good head count.

“We hope that Hay Dayz will become an annual event and the corn dog eating contest will continue on as well. Between this contest and the hay bale decorating contest, along with the rides, it promises to be entertaining.

“The Demopolis City Schools Foundation was in charge of getting the Steven Padilla Band to come and other local talent, so there will be a diverse amount of things for people to do,” she said. “They can come watch live acts, ride the rides and socialize. We hope that this will be something that people will look forward to — not just here in Demopolis but we’re trying to get the word out to other towns as well.”

There are two age groups in the contest: 6 to 16 and 17 and older. Contestants will have 10 minutes to scarf down as many corn dogs as they can. Contestants must consume the entire corn dog — the pig and the blanket — for it to count, although the dog and the breading may be separated, dunked or mangled.

Each contestant will be provided a glass of water for drinking or dunking, and condiments are allowed. The winner in each age group will be given a prize.

And a caveat to those who may have weak innards from the corn dog eating contest pamphlet: “Visible signs of sickness will result in disqualification.”

The corn dog eating record, according to the International Federation of Competitive Eating, is 12 Fletcher’s Corny Dogs in 10 minutes on Sept. 28, 2003, attained by Richard “The Locust” LeFevre of Henderson, Nev., at the State Fair of Texas.

With people chomping down as many corn dogs as they can get their hands on, and with this being the first such contest in Demopolis, will there be enough corn dogs?

“We’ll bring plenty!” Roberts said.