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Aug 17, 2012 12:42 AM by Andy Koen

Politicians to join cantaloupe eating contests this weekend

ROCKY FORD - Step aside Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, this Saturday at the Arkansas Valley Fair, a new standard in gastric competition will be set when a half dozen Coloradoans will lock arms in battle to see who can consume the most Rocky Ford Cantaloupes.

Among the hungry contestants participating in the event are Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar, State Senator Kevin Grantham, Otero County Commissioner Keith Goodwin, Crowley County Commissioner Gary Gibson, Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Growers Association Chairman and local grower Michael Hirakata and Otero County Health Department Director Rick Ritter.

The inaugural melon eating contest joins fair food-related traditions the Open Watermelon Pile and Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. Visitors are also welcome to participate in the Horseshoe Pitching Contest and watch a Demolition Derby.

The fair is celebrating it's 135th anniversary, making it the oldest continuous county fair in the state. The cantaloupe eating contest will be held at 10:40 a.m. Saturday, August 18 in the infield of the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds, 800 N. 9th Street in Rocky Ford.

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