LIMA — The second time was the charm for 15-year-old Drew Hubbard.
He ate 11 Kewpee hamburgers in 10 minutes to be crowned the champion of Thursday’s Kewpee Hamburger Eating Contest at Faurot Park during the annual Star Spangled Spectacular.
A year ago the teen who is known as “Sasquatch” — a nickname he received from his football teammates at Lima Central Catholic High School where he will be a sophomore in the fall — finished in second place after eating 10 hamburgers in 10 minutes.
This year’s 11 burgers tied the record he set last year.
His family called out his nickname as he competed against seven other contestants — Scott Fritz, Kevin Miller, Adrian Bowsher, Aaron Bowsher, Lee Parker, Michael Severance and Brent Smith. They all sat in chairs and could choose to put ketchup or mustard on their hamburgers while they ate them. Volunteers held up score cards keeping tally of how many hamburgers were eaten as a timed clock counted down.
“My strategy is to tear the hamburgers in half and stick the burgers on the top of one another and dunk them in water,” Hubbard said. He said he likes to spend time with his family on July 4 and looks forward to participating in the competition and said he is happy to win. When asked if he would eat more hamburgers any time soon, he said it may be in a few weeks. Since he was the winner he received a winning belt and coupons to Kewpee to eat free for a year.
Scott Shutt, whose family owns Kewpee, said his staff prepared 125 hamburgers for the competition. The hamburgers were made into patties Thursday morning and prepared an hour before the competition and brought over in a thermos chest.
“Today is a fun day for families and a day to watch and see how many of the Lima favorite hamburgers people can eat,” Shutt said.
Todd Walker, of WIMA Radio, performed the play-by-play commentary during the hamburger eating contest.
“It has gotten better each year we have had it and we have guys coming back who are a high caliber,” Walker said.
A car show and cruise-in sponsored by Chiles-Lehman Funeral Home also entertained the crowd.
Andy Maravola, event co-chair, who wore a “God Bless America” shirt, said the show is in its fifth year. Cars ranged from Chevy’s, Pontiacs and Corvettes. There were even military tanks on display. The cars were shown by veterans and non-veterans.
“You get a bunch of car guys and they come out here and sit under the trees and walk around and look at each others cars,” Maravola said. There are 20 trophies that were presented to winners of the car show selected by he and the other co-chair John Waller.
Maravola is a Army veteran having served from 1963 to 1969 and served in the National Guard.
As the song “God Bless The USA” played at the car show, Maravola talked about what freedom meant to him.
“If you look around you see all of our veterans here who went and fought for our country and independence,” Maravola said. His father served in World War II.
Mark Wood, who was a master sergeant with the Air Force security police for 22 years displayed an M-1 5-1 A-1 Ford. It had an M-16 machine gun attached and a military radio and he was in uniform.
“It’s important to recognize those who went before us,” Wood said.
The pre-fireworks show began with a performance by New Frontiers featuring Fleetwood 2 the Max. The Lima Area Concert Band played patriotic songs. T-shirts were shot out of a cannon to attendees.
As the sun set, people filled the field to await a spectacular display by Zambelli Fireworks. The Lima Concert Band took the stand and began to play.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.