Trenton Thunder hosted its annual River Fest on Sunday, bringing crowds from across the state to enjoy beer and festivals and watch the best Champion Eaters compete in the World Famous Trenton Pork Roll Eating Contest.
Attendees explored different field games across Trenton Thunder Ballpark, including a Cornhole Tournament presented by Trenton Rotary Club; Whiffle Ball sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods; Closest to the Pin Competition hosted by Mercer County Golf; Speed Pitch, and lawn games.
Randy Hanks, a Hopewell resident who attended the festival, explained that he and his son Will Hanks came to River Fest for the Cornhole tournament. “We play a little bit in the backyard now and again… so I texted (my son), and said, ‘if we sign up… would you want to throw a few bags, and give me the thumbs up?’ It was a cool father-son thing to do,” Hanks said.
The 6th Annual Trenton Thunder World Famous Case’s Pork Roll Eating Championship finished the evening. “Usually, competitive eating is not a destination event,” explained George Shea, Chairman of Major League Eating and Major League Eating Host. “It’s an entertainment event where crowds have already gathered.”
The competition was held on the grass of the stadium. Shea announced the names of each competitive eater to their station, where trays of pork roll sandwiches sat waiting for them. Each sandwich was strictly bread and pork roll for safety reasons. This competition is called a dunking competition where the “eaters” are allowed to dunk sandwiches into their choice of drink.
The competition featured professional eaters from across the country and the world, including Joey Chestnut, the number one world champion eater famous for the world record of eating 61.5 pork roll sandwiches in under ten minutes.
Chestnut explained that he was always a big eater from a young age, but it wasn’t until college that he entered the food-eating competitive world. “I was kind of ashamed of my eating because I was always trying to hold back. And so (my bother) convinced me to go to a contest. And as soon as I got off stage… I was made for this,” Chestnut said.
Chestnut won the competition this year by eating 45 pork roll sandwiches in under ten minutes. He was followed in close second by Nick Wehry, the number six eater in the world who devoured 43 pork sandwiches.