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Watermelon Eating Contest with Special Guest

By Natalie Hood, 08/12/17 9:27 PM

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HOPE- The watermelon eating contest was a big hit this year at the 41st Annual Hope Watermelon Festival. This contest was held on the Bancorp South stage with a politically correct and a general public contest. All currently elected representatives from the state, district, city, and county and were invited to compete in this event. Those who competed consisted of, Mark Ross, City Council; Trent Garner, Senator for District 27; James Singleton, Hempstead County Sheriff; Danny Watson, State Representative for District 3; Larry Teague, Arkansas State Representative from Nashville; Christi McQueen, Prosecuting Attorney; Karen Smith, County Clerk; Haskell Morse, County Judge; Asa Hutchinson, Governor of the State of Arkansas. With festival goers standing in the “splash zone” to enjoy the show the politics then raced to see who would finish their slice of melon first. Christi McQueen came in second place and James Singleton regained his winning title for another year.

After having a short break the general watermelon eating contest took place. With three age divisions and tough competition watermelons were demolished. Oakley Richards won the youngest division followed by Jordan Wright in second, and Gage Britton in third. In the nine to eighteen year old division there were twenty competitors, with first place being Landon K. from Texarkana, Whitley Richards in second place, followed by Thaddeus Struekuau in third. In the eighteen and older division there were six competitors. Kyle Sisson of Hope took home first place, leaving Al Smith in second followed by Kim Burkhalter in third. The winner of each division later competed against each other. Eight year Oakley Richards won the overall competition, Kyle Sisson placed second and Landon K. in third overall.

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