How to Win a Watermelon Eating Contest

watermelon eating contestEvery 4th of July, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort throws a great festival in Night Heron Park. There’s live music, great Lowcountry cuisine, activities for the kids to enjoy and a few planned events that are a tradition, year in year out. One of those events brings excitement, thrilling finishes, a little friendly competition, and of course, messy faces.

That’s right… The Watermelon Eating Contest. You hear of legendary stories of one of these contests coming down to the wire between two “heavyweight” eating champions. The heat of the summer along with the cool crisp taste of watermelon, the camaraderie of the 4th of July holiday, and a classic eating contest all make it the perfect combination for this day.

The recreation staff are experts (and experienced) in this epic watermelon eating contest; here are a few of their tips on how to win this year. (Hint: if you are planning on coming to this year’s 4th of July Festival, I would take notes.)

“I like to start in the middle of the melon, eating my way straight down to the bottom as fast as I can. I then go from side-to-side; not caring how much ends up on my face. And don’t worry about the seeds; I’ve never had a watermelon grow inside of my stomach yet!” ~Tyler Uhlenbrauck, Recreation Programming Supervisor

“Don’t choke! Although one might think it is not even possible, take my word; to complete such a task, it is! Chewing the watermelon is much easier than just attempting to swallow chunks of it. There is nothing wrong with getting into the competition, but you don’t want to be known around the festival as ‘that’ person that goes overboard.” ~Chelsey Stegmaier, Kamp Kiawah Supervisor.

watermelon“Practice habits make game habits, so be sure to try it a few times before the actual competition. Also, make sure you have your hair tied back (mostly for girls). You don’t want your hair to get in the way!” ~Kari Bowman, Recreation Program Manager

“You really want a good pump up playlist beforehand… I always tune out the many fans that are asking for autographs and pictures; just try and stay in the zone, we know these things can get a little crazy. When you find your seat, all that should be running through your head is that slab of watermelon…be one with the melon. Then once the whistle blows, it’s game time. The rookie mistake is coming up for air too soon; keep your head down, breathe through your nose, and you will be just fine. If you don’t end up with watermelon from cheek to cheek, you’re doing it wrong.” ~Tom Burgess, Recreation Marketing Specialist