TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Lofty Pursuits held their 10th annual Ice Cream Eating Contest on Sunday afternoon, in honor of National Ice Cream Day after taking 2020 off due to the pandemic.
The ice cream of choice for this contest? Vanilla, which is considered a more stable and neutral flavor.
"I started doing the ice cream eating competition because I thought it was fun," said Lofty Pursuits owner Greg Cohen, who has owned the place for going on 28 years now. "President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday of July National Ice Cream Day, in possibly the most boring proclamation that has ever been written. That made me laugh for some reason, that something as exciting and fun as ice cream was turned into boring text by a politician. So, I make sure I read it every year to remember how bad it is."
Before the ice cream eating festivities began, Cohen did just that. He recited the official proclamation as written by President Reagan in 1984.
There were two divisions: Under 16-years-old and over 16-years-old. And the rules are simple: eat the most ice cream in the time given. Though, the actual rules are more detailed and can be found by clicking here. Cohen said that these rules are standardized by the Food Eating Federation.
There were originally only three people signed up for the over 16-year-old division, but a late entry from the table of the winner of the under 16-year-old division made their way up and threw their hat into the ring.
The main event for the ice cream eating competition lasted three minutes and was won by Sean Ruane, with Cohen saying it was one of the closer competitions in the 10-year history of the event. Ruane won by eating just under 16 ounces of ice cream.
Ruane did his victory interview while holding nothing other than another bowl of ice cream.
"Victory tastes so sweet, I love this competition, I love Lofty Pursuits," said Ruane. "I never miss this if I can help it. It is not my first time competing, but it is my first victory."
The winning prize was a $25 gift card to Lofty Pursuits, which the winner Sean said he was probably going to use by treating his kids to more ice cream down the line.
"Lofty Pursuits is the best ice cream place in Tallahassee, I've been coming here for years," said Ruane. "My kids go to Gilchrist and we come every Friday after school. We like supporting the local ice cream shop."
And as for Ruane's favorite ice cream flavor? Mocha with a waffle cone.
It was all in good fun though, as no money or trophies were being handed out for winners, just bragging rights and more ice cream.