Second from left, Trinity Morris, 14, of Hamburg, Sawyer Schneider, 13, of Eden and Adam Rakiecki, 14, of Eden, were the top finishers in the age 11-15 Corn Husking Contest.
HAMBURG — On a day in which both sun and heavy rains were present, corn still proved to be the dominating factor for those participating and watching the Corn-Eating and Corn-Husking competitions on Aug. 2 at the 51st annual Eden Corn Festival.
Although a torrential downpour caused a brief delay late in the competition Saturday afternoon, it did not dampen the spirits of children and adults determined to succeed in the competitions and devour some ears of corn, in the process. Age ranges of the husking and eating competitions were 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15, as well as an adult category.
From left, award-winners in the kids age 1-5 Corn Eating Contest included Ariah Joseph, of Hamburg; top finisher Caydon Heckert, 5, of Dunkirk; Mattie Peterson, 5, of Eden and Mallory Ritz, 2, of Eden.
The Coones family of Hamburg were prevalent in the husking competitions, with adults Bill and Jason Coones going toe-to-toe in their bracket; Olivia Coones, 10, finished first in her age group and 5-year-old Aden Coones participating in the youngest bracket. Brian Coones finished fourth in a highly competitive adult corn-shucking competition, husking 42 ears of corn in three minutes.
In the adult husking contest, Scott Telaak of Eden outlasted John Flading of Orchard Park in a tie-breaking “husk-off,” recording 40 ears in two minutes to edge Flading’s 36. Families of both competitors cheered as the two faced off.
In the kids age brackets, parents of some toddlers helped guide their tots. Geoff Allessi of Tonawanda watched as his 3-year-old daughter Emma peeled the corn. Meanwhile, 4-year-old Benjamin Carabello, of Cheektowaga, got some motherly advice while holding his own in the competition.
“It’s fun, you know, to compete here,” said Brian Coones. “It’s a fun family event.”
Top finishers in the Eden Corn Fest Adult Corn Husking Contest included, from left: John Flading, of Orchard Park, second place; Scott Telaak, of Eden, first place; Don Winkelman, Eden native living in Austin, Texas; and Brian Coones of Hamburg, fourth place.
Austin, Texas resident Don Winkelman, who is originally from Eden, made the trip home to his native town to enjoy the weekend’s festivities. He placed third in the adult corn-husking competition, recording 45 ears of corn in the allotted three minutes.
The event’s emcee entertained the crowd with blow-by-blow instructions for the participants, with music from Charlie Daniels, Tom Petty, Pharrell Williams and other artists blasting through the sound system.
Results from the competitions, prior to the thunderstorm, included:
Top Finisher – Scott Telaak, Eden, won in husk-off, 47 ears in initial round, 40 in tie-breaker.
Runner-up – John Flading, Orchard Park, second in husk-off, 47 ears in initial round, 36 in tie-breaker.
Third Place – Don Winkelman, Austin, Texas; Eden native; 45 ears.
Fourth Place – Brian Coones, Hamburg, 42 ears.
Kids Ages 11-15
Top Finisher – Adam Rakiecki, Eden, 30 and 1/2 ears.
Runner-up – Trinity Morris, Hamburg, 26 ears.
Third Place – Sawyer Schneider, 23 ears.
Kids Ages 6-10
Top Finisher – Olivia Coones, Hamburg, 15 1/2 ears.
Runner-up – Ryan Sadowski, Cheektowaga, 14 ears.
Third Place – Caden Brenner, Eden.
Kids Ages 6-10
Top Finisher – Jonah Fox, Irving, 5 and 1/2 ears.
Runner-up – Liam Schrecengost, Eden, 5 ears.
Third Place – Elizabeth Agle, Eden, 4 ears.
Kids Ages 1-5
Caydon Heckert, Dunkirk. Ariah Joseph, Hamburg. Mallory Ritz, Eden. Mattie Peterson, Eden.