Hot dog!

Webster County Fair gives competitors the chance to show off their talents

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Jenny Hollingsworth, of Fort Dodge, decides that she’s done competing before the allotted three minutes were up in the hot dog eating contest at the Webster County Fair Saturday morning.

For Cole Lundgren, 12, of Lehigh, the hot dog eating contest at the Webster County Fair wasn’t his best food experience ever.

“I ate four,” he said after walking off the stage. “I feel like I might hurl.”

Cody Tucker, 15, of Niangua, Missouri, had a few last words before he dove into his plate of hot dogs.

“I’m not looking forward to this,” he said.

Each contestant was presented with five hot dogs in buns on a plate. They had three minutes to eat as many as they could.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Cole Lundgren, 12, of Lehigh, signals that he’s OK Saturday morning during the hot dog eating contest at the Webster County Fair.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought,” Tucker said after polishing off three of them.

Nathan Ober, 9, of Fort Dodge, is more of a slow and steady eater.

He managed to get two of the five eaten in the three minutes.

“Did I win?” he asked afterwards.

“No. That girl beat you,” a family member told him.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Fay, an 8-week-old corgi whose human, Logan McKenney, of Somers, was attending the Webster County Fair, meets Toodles and Jillian Matton, 8, of Harcourt.

“Is there anything for second place,” he said.

Each contestant had the option of taking their remaining hot dogs with them. Ober took advantage of that, then finished them, slowly while watching the rest of the competition.

Jenny Hollingsworth, of Fort Dodge, competed with the adults.

She managed two using her special technique of tearing them apart and eating smaller pieces. Slathered of course, with lots of ketchup which, hot dog eating contests being hot dog eating contests, she got all over her arms.

“When I sat next to a guy that ate six I thought no way,” she said. “If you get rid of the buns I’d win it for sure.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Ben Carlson, 18, of Gowrie, a member of the Gowrie Groundbreakers 4-H Club, offers up his winning pig call Saturday morning during the pig calling contest at the Webster County Fair.

She had attempted to prepare.

“I had a couple of huge meals,” she said. “It didn’t help.”

Her friends, who had come along for moral support, teased her about that.

“All that for two hot dogs,” one of them said.

For those who already had lunch, or wanted something else to eat, the fair offered several other contests Saturday.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Gary Tussing, of Clare, gives his 1961 Minneapolis Moline M5 a chance to show how well it can pull Saturday afternoon during the Des Moines River Valley Antique Tractor and Engine Club tractor pull. He went about 130 feet.

The hog calling contest required only a strong voice and a little creativity beyond the traditional, “Here piggy piggy piggy.”

“Pig get over here, I want your bacon,” was heard from one contestant.

“Come here fat pig,” from another.

“Lulu,” quite specific for one pig, was heard from another.

Ben Carlson, 18, of Gowrie, a member of the Gowrie Groundbreakers 4-H Club, won the senior division with a complex call that featured structured variations of “Sueeeeeyyyy piggy piggy.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Marcia Johnson, at left, stops to chat with Erin Rial at the Webster County Democrats booth at the Webster County Fair. The group was conducting its own contest of sorts, letting fair guests vote with corn kernels.

He brought vital actual experience.

“My family raises about 22,000 pigs,” he said.

Do the pig calls actually work though?

“Not normally,” Carlson said. “They take some other persuasion.”

Running the length of the fair, the Webster County Democrats are running a contest of sorts as well.

Vote by corn kernel for one of the 20 or so declared candidates seeking the nomination for president.

Erin Rial, of Fort Dodge, said they were not getting a lot of voting.

“People are participating,” she said. “A lot realize it’s very early, though. They don’t feel educated enough yet to cast a kernel.”

So far, former Vice President Joe Biden’s jar is leading.

“He’s ahead,” she said. “I think it’s mostly name recognition, though.”

The Des Moines River Valley Antique Tractor and Engine Club was having its antique tractor pull on Saturday as well. A strong voice or a healthy appetite won’t help there.

You need an old tractor.

Gary Tussing, of Clare, was one of the first pullers up.

His restored 1961 Minneapolis Moline M5 went about 130 feet.

“This was considered a big tractor in its day,” he said.

The club holds the contest for the benefit of those who come to watch the many old machines work.

“We’re very informal,” he said. “There’s no trophy, no money. We just pull for fun.”

The Webster County Fair continues today with events starting at 9 a.m. and continuing through 3 p.m.

Today’s contests include the Rooster Crowing Contest at 10 a.m. and the B-Dubs Hot Wings Challenge at noon, both on the Free Stage.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Abby Allen, 5, of Fort Dodge, is all smiles as her dad, Jeff Allen, puts her pink cowboy hat back on her head Saturday morning before the horse show.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Ava Nelson, 10, of Manson, holds onto the lead for her horse Poco Saturday morning at the Webster County Fair.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Nathan Ober, 9, of Fort Dodge, continues to enjoy his hot dogs after competing in the hot dog eating contest Saturday morning at the Webster County Fair.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Mason Newell, 8, and his sisters Lilly Newell, 6 and Violet Newell, 4, enjoy a slice of watermelon Saturday morning during the Farm Bureau watermelon feed at the Webster County Fair. The family is from Callender.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Chuck Peterson, of Fort Dodge, works on turning an ash log into planks Saturday afternoon on the Des Moines River Valley Antique Tractor and Engine Club’s sawmill at the Webster County Fair.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
One of the many horses spending a few days at the Webster County Fair enjoys a little quiet time in the horse barn Saturday morning.

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