5 minutes, and a whole lot of ice cream: Herrell’s all-you-can-eat competition

  • John Heon, center, and his daughter, Caty, of Cummington were amused at the full-on effort by fellow competitor Bill Magdalensky, left, of Northampton in the second heat of the Great Ice Cream Eating Competition at Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton on Saturday. Magdalensky maintained a bear hug on his gallon of vanilla throughout the five-minute time limit, clutching it close to his mouth except to come up for air.  STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Smith College junior Katie Berry, right, gets support from Smith first-year Chloe Carr, left, and Smith sophomore Chloe-Rose Crouch as she competes in the fourth and final heat of the Great Ice Cream Eating Competition at Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Myra Lam, foreground, of Northampton cheers on her roller derby teammate Alex Brady competing in the third of four heats of the Great Ice Cream Eating Competition at Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Brady took second place overall. Behind Lam are Katelynn Mann of Northampton and Kashe Wansor, right, of Boston. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Smith College first-year Alexandra Dunn, left, and John Paradis of Northampton compete in the first of four heats of the Great Ice Cream Eating Competition at Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Marco Maggi of Springfield was the winner of the first Great Ice Cream Eating Competition at Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, consuming 39.4 ounces in five minutes. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Competitors in the Great Ice Cream Eating Competition gather for a photo with Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery owner Judy Herrell, back row, fifth from left, at the conclusion of the event in Northampton on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Winners of the Great Ice Cream Eating Competition sit for a photo at Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton on Saturday. They are, from left, first place winner Marco Maggi of Springfield, second place winner Alex Brady of Suffield, Conn., and third place winner Mark Hafley of Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 2/3/2019 9:40:48 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The rules were simple. Contestants had five minutes to eat as much ice cream as possible without getting sick, and 19 people stepped up to Herrell’s “Great Ice Cream Eating Competition” on Saturday.

The grand prize was coveted by many: an overnight stay with breakfast at the Hotel Northampton, a dinner for two at Paul & Elizabeth’s, a “bottle of bubbly” from Provisions, a box of truffles from Heavenly Chocolate, a $100 gift card to Thornes Marketplace, and a Herrell’s t-shirt along with a $20 gift certificate to the ice cream shop.

Or as 11-year-old Elijah Phelps marveled with amazement, “you eat ice cream and you get free stuff?”

The contestants, who had to be over 18, were handed a gallon-and-a-half of their chosen ice cream flavor and the contest was divided into four rounds.

Strategies varied amongst the participants. Some cradled the bucket of ice cream close to their bodies in an attempt to melt it as much as possible. Others used their hands to try to soften the ice cream.

In the end, Springfield resident Marco Maggi came in first place, crushing 39.4 ounces of vanilla ice cream in the allotted time. Using mostly small, but quick scoops, Maggi devoured a large chunk of ice cream from his bucket in rapid fashion.

Arriving at Herrell’s following his child’s baby shower that day, he said he won the prize for his wife.

“I literally had to come from that to come here,” Maggi said. “My wife is from Northampton and she is pretty proud.”

Following Maggi was Alex Brady, of Suffield, Connecticut, in second, who ate 36.6 ounces. In third, Mark Hafley, of Hadley, ate 31.4 ounces. Both of them won Herrell’s t-shirts, and all contestants were able to bring whatever ice cream they didn’t finish home with them.

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com




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