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Keaton Vagedes, a junior studying music production, competes during the final heat of Bagel Street Deli's annual Pickle Fest in 2016. Vagedes won overall with 8 pickles.

Bagel Street to host annual Pickle Fest eating competition

Ohio University is commonly known for its Spring Semester fests, but Bagel Street Deli’s Pickle Fest might be the wildest of them all.

Pickle Fest is an eating contest at Bagel Street taking place Friday at 4 p.m. There are multiple rounds for contenders, and the goal is to eat as many pickles as possible in 10 minutes without getting sick. Competitors must pay a $5 entry fee.

The winner of Pickle Fest will donate the proceeds of the day to the charity of their choice, receive a t-shirt and create a bagel sandwich to go on the Bagel Street menu. Bagel Street will match the total amount of entry fees before donating the money to charity.

“(Pickle Fest is) about shoving as many giant pickles in your mouth as you can in 10 minutes — it’s about not making relish,” Lori Linnevers, a manager at Bagel Street, said.

Linnevers described Pickle Fest as gross but definitely fun.

“It’s a crazy, disgusting eating contest,” Linnevers said.

Alyssa Lions, an employee at Bagel Street, said her favorite part of Pickle Fest is getting to count for the competitors.

“We count for the person eating the pickles while the MC yells out the numbers, and (we watch) people try to eat these huge dill pickles and fail,” Lions, a junior studying journalism, said.

Lions said the pickles are really salty, and that makes them difficult to eat. By the third pickle, many say they can’t go on.

“It’s a lot of vinegar in your system in a short amount of time,” Linnevers said.

This will be close to Linnevers' 15th Pickle Fest, and she has seen lots of craziness at the contest.

“The grossest thing I’ve seen was two years ago, and he projectile vomited all over (those counting for him). I’ll never forget it,” Linnevers said.

If a contestant throws up during the contest, they are disqualified. Linnevers said once someone went the extra mile to stay in the competition.

“There was a girl, and she took the bucket that she puked in and started eating the puke out of the bucket,” Linnevers said. “We couldn’t believe that she did it, but it really happened.”

Lions said Pickle Fest will be just as fun as Congo Fest.

“Just come out and do it. It’s really fun,” Lions said.


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