Children from Craig dig into their pies at the 2013 Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival pie-eating Contest. Three boys — Johnathan Macks, Kalob Hillewaert and Landon Weis — consumed their half-pies fastest Saturday afternoon at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Children from Craig dig into their pies at the 2013 Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival pie-eating Contest. Three boys — Johnathan Macks, Kalob Hillewaert and Landon Weis — consumed their half-pies fastest Saturday afternoon at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Pie-eating contest makes mess at Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig

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— The serene environment created by hot air balloons launching from Loudy-Simpson Park early Saturday morning gave way to a raucous 15 minutes of gluttony later in the day.

Among the events on the docket at the 2013 Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival was the pie-eating contest. Featuring children and adult divisions, the fastest consumer of half a pie donated by the Village Inn would be crowned champion and earn a balloon ride Sunday morning.

A large field turned out for the children’s division, as competitors as old as 17 dove into their pies face first with no hands or utensils allowed.

When it was all said and done, three boys were declared winners for their quickness in downing their dessert. Johnathan Macks, 12, Kalob Hillwaert, 12, and Landon Weis, 17, were the fastest to finish.

Jessin Deveraux, 11, had just scraps left in her tray when the race was called. She had trouble scraping up some of the crust toward the end the contest and came up just shy of tying for another win.

None of the three pie-eating champions had done any preparation for the event aside from their daily lives.

“My training has just been eating dinner, I guess,” Johnathan said. “I knew I had to cram as much pie as I could and eat it.”

Weis nearly was crowned the lone winner about 30 seconds before, but it was decided he still had some pieces of his pie to take care of. On a full stomach, he dipped his head back into the tray and made the necessary sacrifice on his stomach.

“It took some big mouthfuls (to finish the pie), and I felt it coming back up, so I had to be careful,” he said. “I had such big bites, it was building up.”

In the adult contest, Eric Abram left no doubt about who the winner was. He devoured his half a pie in less than four minutes, coming up with a clean pan but fruit all over his face and beard.

Abram said it would take him awhile to get his goatee properly cleaned, but he was ready to keep on digging into more pie.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’d like to have another one.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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