June 25, 2016

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Big eaters to pile up pies at Mapleside Farms

BRUNSWICK — Competitive eating enthusiasts don’t have to wait until next year and the traditional July 4 Coney Island hot-dog-eating contest to see their favorite athletes in action.

An officially sanctioned competitive eating event is coming to Brunswick this week.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut

Mapleside Farms is putting Joey “Jaws” Chestnut’s eating skills to the test. The seven-time winner of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, at New York’s Coney Island, will scarf down Mapleside Apple Pies this Friday to kick off the Brunswick farm’s 40th annual Johnny Appleseed Festival.

Chestnut, ranked No. 1 in the world by Major League Eating, will be joined by at least three other competitive eating stars.

Chestnut’s fiercest competitor, the No. 2 ranked Tim Janus, known as “Eater X,” will participate in the contest along with No. 3 ranked Sonya Thomas, known as the “Black Widow.”

Thomas won the national wing-eating contest 2007 to 2011. She lost to Chestnut in 2012. She is also the winner of the Nathan’s Women’s competitive eating contest.

Adrian Morgan, who is ranked sixth in the world, also is slated to compete in the contest.

Ryan Julison, a spokesman for Mapleside Farms, said the contest is sanctioned by Major League Eating.

Julison added that it’s unusual to have the top three eaters appear in the same event.

“This is going to be pretty exciting,” he said. “It’s rare that you get to see the top three compete against each other.”

The owners of Mapleside Farms, Greg and Kelley Clement, have strived to grow the festival each year. Adding a contest on the competitive eating circuit seemed like a great way to attract attention to the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Julison said.

“This is something they take a lot of pride in and this year they really wanted to do something big,” he said.

Julison said the contest would be an eight-minute timed event and that the pies will be stacked up and water will be supplied to the competitors like other eating contests. He said they’re hoping to set a world record of 9.7 pounds of pie consumed by one person at the event.

According to Major League Eating, where the contest details are listed, the winner of the contest gets $2,500 and second place takes home $1,000.

The pie-eating contest kicks off at 7 p.m. and admission is $4 per person and includes admittance to the Johnny Appleseed Festival.

In addition to the Friday night kickoff, the farm will host family activities throughout the weekend. The festival includes apple-themed foods and craft demonstrations, and the Pumpkin Village with a giant slide, hay rides and corn maze will also be open.

The Johnny Appleseed Festival and Pumpkin Village is open 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit www.mapleside.com.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.