As contestants looked into big dog bowls stacked with whipped cream, chocolate bars and sprinkles, an ice cream-eating contest began Saturday morning at Fresno State.
Participants were up against 12 scoops — 2 pounds of ice cream — to take the championship title, part of the eighth annual Summer Farm Festival.
An initially unmotivated team of four young men, who said they just came for the free ice cream, ramped up their ice cream intake when they realized they might be leading the pack. They believed in a new motto: "No scoop left behind."
What are the secrets to ice cream stardom? "Lots of humor," said Manuel Ibarra, 24.
With vanilla ice cream still dotting his nose, Esteban Ibarra, 21, said, "Straight-up willpower."
Six-year-old Wyatt Link was most motivated by even simpler pleasures than devouring the tasty treat: "I like it because I can stick my face in it."
A news release from Fresno State also noted the seriousness of such a competition:
"National Ice Cream Month was established in 1984 by presidential proclamation because 'ice cream is a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90% of the nation's population.' "
This year's ice cream-eating champions, "Smarty Pints," one of nine teams of four participants, won some healthy goodies from the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market for their efforts — along with a coupon for more of its freshly turned ice cream.
Second- and third-place winners for the contest were the Gibson Gobblers and the Farm Freeze.
In addition to ice cream eating, the Farm Festival showcased food samplings, wine tasting, music and prizes.
Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, said the festival is aimed at encouraging the community to visit the Fresno State farm market, which features foods and products created by students.
Summer hours for the Gibson Farm Market are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
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