Due to the possibility of inclement weather, the ice cream eating contest has been canceled. A rain date was not originally scheduled but Bruster's owner Colleen Daniels said that a new date would be set by early next week.
"In five years, we've never needed a rain date," Daniels explained. "From here on out, though, we'll have one set."
Daniels, worried about all the people who already made plans to attend, said that the store would show its appreciation to anyone who shows up still expecting to see the contest.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to get the word out that it's canceled," Daniels said. "But, for anybody who does show up, we're going to try to have $1 coupons or something available. We appreciate everyone's support and just hate that we had to cancel it."
1 WHAT IS IT?
Officers from the Middletown Police Department and firefighters from Volunteer Hose Co. of Middletown will try to get the scoop on each other next week at Bruster's sixth-annual ice cream eating contest.
The 7 p.m. event on Aug. 7 will pit five-person teams from each organization against one another as they try to scarf down as much vanilla ice cream as humanly possible in five minutes.
The police officers hold a one-win advantage going into this year's contest and opted to let their record speak for itself.
The firefighters, meanwhile, are hoping revenge will be a dish best served cold, with sprinkles and a cherry on top.
"We're going to beat them this year," said Beth Daliessio, a volunteer coordinator for the fire department who will be competing for a third year in row. "That's a guarantee, right there."
2 HOW IT WORKS
The rules of the game changed slightly over the years, but next week's contest will see a return of spoon-fed gluttony, according Colleen Daniels, the owner of Bruster's Real Ice Cream at 465 W. Main St.
"Each team member will be given their own quart, and we will follow up with a pint if they manage to eat all of their first serving before time runs out," she said. "After five minutes, we'll collect all the remnants and weigh them and whichever team has the least left will be declared the winner."
Daniels said Bruster's had provided each team with ice cream cakes for the last couples of years, a move that led to several contestants eating with their hands.
"It's hard enough dealing with a brain freeze without also losing feeling in your fingertips," Daliessio said. "The police department agreed to go back to the all rules, so it's all fair."
Page 2 of 2 - Daliessio said she thinks the pint-and-quart servings will help put her team on better footing, especially for crowd favorite Phil Smith, who's been known to crush his pints and eat them like a giant ice cream sandwiches.
3 HOW IT CAME ABOUT
Daniels said she first came up with idea of sponsoring an ice cream eating contest between Middletown's local heroes after the police department was founded in 2007.
"I wanted to do something that would help introduce the officers to the community in a fun way," she said. "It just made sense to invite the fire company and now it's sort of like a mini-rivalry."
The annual event is all for fun, with the winning team receiving nothing more than a trophy and bragging rights for a year.
"It's not about us making money or raising funds for anything," Daniels said. "It's about eating ice cream and having fun."