Summertime, and the eating is easy. Maybe that’s not quite how the song goes. But it’s definitely summer, and eating contests seem to be happening any direction you turn your head. They’re a great way to test your mettle. Featuring everything from oysters to blueberries, and just about anything in between, they also show off a wide range of regional specialties.
Many of the eating contests we’ve rounded up in this go-around are part of larger festivals, offering more than just a place to gobble up food. Whether you’re looking for a challenge or just a weekend activity, take a look at these five eating contests and challenges happening in the Pacific states.
Shakespeare Pub & Grille
In the Great White Whale Challenge at San Diego’s Shakespeare Pub & Grille, it’s not enough to like fish and chips with a side of peas. You have to REALLY like it. The pub’s challenge weighs in at over four pounds, with two pounds each of battered cod and chips, rounded out with peas. Contestants have 45 minutes to clean their plates. All who dare can get their before and after photos posted on the pub’s website. The pub offers other dishes, too, including sausage rolls, tacos and sandwiches.
Pacific Ink & Art Expo
August 7-9, 2015
It doesn’t matter if you call a long sandwich a hoagie, hero, sub or grinder. What matters at the Pacific Ink & Art Expo in Honolulu is how many you can eat. The expo is also busting out the eating contest staple of chicken wings, but with a twist. These wings are going to be hot, hot, hot. While you’re visiting the festival, which runs August 7 through August 9, check out the live musical performances, with Mike Love and Kody Reihl among the performers, tattoo artists, dancing and more.
Alyeska Resort Blueberry Festival
August 8-9, 2015
Grab your napkins, because you and your family just might get messy. The Alyeska Resort Blueberry Festival, held August 8 and August 9 in Girdwood, Alaska, shines a big spotlight on the diminutive fruit with a blueberry pie-eating contest, a cooking challenge and other events.
Fishermen’s Fall Festival
October 3, 2015
Sure, you’ve probably entered a hot dog-eating contest or two, and maybe even a pie-eating contest along the way. But what about fish? The Fisherman’s Fall Festival, held October 3 in Seattle, holds a lutefisk-eating contest and an oyster-slurping contest during its celebration of all things fish.
December 5-6, 2015
Celebrate Scandinavia without leaving the West Coast. ScanFair, held December 5 and December 6 in Portland, Oregon, includes a pickled herring-eating contest, plus authentic Scandinavian arts and crafts, live music and dancing, and entertainment. The Finnish Santa Claus will be there too, no doubt to try the pickled herring.