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50th Carnival Goal: Break A Guinness World Record

While watermelon eating contests have been included in the carnival lineup for years, the Chamber is seeking hundreds of participants on Saturday, August 3, to break a world record.

WATER VALLEY – During months of planning for the 50th Watermelon Carnival, the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce has been cooking up some big plans. Big as in breaking a world record for the Largest Watermelon Eating Contest.

The current Guinness World Record was set last July in Safety Harbor, Fla. with 259 contestants competing to see who could eat a serving of watermelon the fastest. Although the event is a competition to see who can devour a set amount of melon the fastest, the world record is actually for the number of contestants competing simultaneously in the contest. 

Chamber member Tonya Eubanks is coordinating the contest, which will be added to the end of the big carnival weekend lineup on Saturday, August 3, at 7 p.m. at Crawford Sports Complex. Eubanks is part of the Chamber’s 50th Anniversary Carnival Committee tasked with making this year’s carnival historic.

“I have been wanting to do this for years and decided this is the year we should do it because it is the 50th,” Eubanks told the Herald. Also helping coordinate the herculean effort are Nell Jobe, Angie Hodge, Tyler Hill, Cayce Washington and Michelle Washington. Their goal is to have a minimum of 518 participants, which would double the current record. 

Eubanks said the Chamber’s application for the event was submitted to Guinness World Records and is already approved. Work is underway to ensure the contest meets the stringent guidelines. She has also tapped the local resources of the Pullen family to supply the melons. The event will be publicized in the coming weeks including the utilization of social media to try and get a head count for the number of participants.

Guinness World Records has provided a guideline packet, which includes a six-page document outlining the rules and requirements for the contest. The requirements include the utilization of stewards, who each will oversee different groups of participants. The stewards must not come from the Chamber of Commerce and Eubanks explained that Kathryn York is working to provide stewards who are not affiliated with the Chamber. Eubanks also said the goal is to have one steward per 16 participants.  

The guidelines also require at least two independent witnesses, who personally perform the counting process or directly observe it. Video evidence is also required and media articles can also be submitted as part of the evidence requirements.  

Rules for the contest are also defined for the Chamber and include: 

• The contest must be held for the fastest time to eat a set amount of watermelon, which is determined by the organizer.

• The organizers determine how the winner is chosen.

• The watermelon may have the rind on it or be rindless.

• Each piece of watermelon must have the same dimensions and the organizer is responsible for ensuring the portions are equal. 

• No extra ingredients may be added to the watermelon.

• A winner must be declared and in case of a tie, a run-off is required.

• The food must be prepared according to local hygiene standard laws.

• The food must be kept in hygienic conditions throughout the attempt of the record.

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