BAYONNE, NJ - It takes a tough man to eat a lot of tender donuts.
This year’s Bayonne Hometown Fair had something sweet to offer besides the usual lemonade, French fries and ice cream – a donut-eating contest sponsored by Judicke’s Bakery on Broadway.
On Saturday afternoon, a small group of four men and women braced to stuff piles of delicious looking blue and orange specimens into their gullets. The organizers from the Bayonne Hometown Fair Association placed a pail at each station to catch any, um, results of eating too much.
Hometown Fair Association board member Alicyn Perry emceed, trying to get the handful of contestants to introduce themselves, but no one stepped up.
“Your donut eaters are a little shy,” Perry told the audience, “which is interesting because they’re about to stuff donuts in their faces in front of all of you.”
Perry explained the rules. Contestants would be given a few minutes to down as many of the sugary delicacies as they could. The winner would be the one who ate the most, but if someone got to 20 first, that person would take the prize.
Besides a small trophy featuring a donut, the victor would also get a month-long membership at Retro Fitness on Broadway “to help them get rid of their extra donut.”
The competitors busied themselves on the Community Stage for the next few minutes as a crowd of over fifty looked on from folding chairs. When all was said and done, Sammy LoPresti, a lifelong resident, was the champion, having polished off nine.
LoPresti said he was at the fair promoting his company, 1776 Beard Company, and had decided to compete.
He founded the company a year and a half ago with two friends he met at work, who live in other towns.
Brian Buska, the manager of Retro Fitness, handed him his gift certificate and gave a suggestion for how to work off the donuts.
“A half hour of cardio should do it,” he said.
Perry told the crowd that clearly, LoPresti was an expert in his field.
“After eating all those donuts,” she said, “his beard still looks amazing.”
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