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GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — At the end of the competition, all the contestants had a bellyful of watermelon.
On Saturday, August 17, the 140th Annual Little World’s Fair presented their 4th annual watermelon-eating contest before a crowd in front of the main stage at the fairgrounds.
Raymond Cottman, 38, of Liberty, NY was on hand as the defending men’s open champion, having taken top honors since the event was started at the local fair three years ago.
“The first time I did it as a joke,” he recalled, adding “Then they made me do it the second year, and I had to do it the third year.”
Although Raymond was dethroned by an upstart from Queens, all was not lost for the reigning champion. His two daughters, 8-year-old Aryiah and 13-year-old Rayanna, were crowned winners in their respective divisions.
Aryiah will be entering 3rd grade at Liberty Elementary, while Rayanna is all set to be an 8th-grader at the middle school next month.
Matthew Kirk, 41, was crowned the 2019 watermelon-eating champ, having chomped his way all the way down to the last rind
Kirk divides his time between Ridgewood, NY, a neighborhood of the borough of Queens, and the hamlet of Sundown, NY.
“I had a lot of people backing me, and I felt pretty good going into it,” said the first-time watermelon-eating contestant.
“I got the idea, and I was hungry,” added Kirk.