Newry resort debuts New England Cornhole Championship Sunday

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NEWRY — Joining the North American Wife Carrying Championship this weekend at Sunday River Ski Resort are two new events, the New England Cornhole Championship and Kids’ Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest.

The wife carry will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, and the pie eating contest will follow at 3 p.m. between live performances by bands Tomorrow Morning and Gang of Thieves.

In the pie-eating contest, 10 contestants will line up on stage to see who can eat their pumpkin pie the fastest, without hands or silverware.

The cornhole game event will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 12. All events are at South Ridge.

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Cornhole is “very popular down South, but is gaining in popularity in this region,” Caroline Ochtera, marketing and events manager at Sunday River Ski Resort, said Wednesday by email.

“We are actually sanctioned by the American Cornhole Association,” she said.

According to the association’s website, a cornhole or corn toss is similar to playing horseshoes, except wooden boxes called “cornhole platforms” and corn bags are used instead of horseshoes and metal stakes.

Contestants take turns pitching their corn bags at the cornhole platform until a contestant reaches the score of 21 points. A corn bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point.

Scoring can be swift and the lead may change hands several times in a match before the winner is decided. The game is generally played tournament style, with an individual or team being named the champion at the end of the tournament.

Ochtera said that currently they have 32 teams signed up and another 10 teams on the waiting list.

“This is the first year we are doing this,” she said. “I’m actually shocked at how fast the teams filled up.”

With heats starting at 10 a.m., the single-elimination tournament, based on cancellation scoring, will offer up a $500 purse. The first-place finisher gets $250, second place gets $150 and third place wins $100.

The entry fee is $15 per team, with 100 percent of entry fees going to the Sunday River Charitable Fund.

She said that since the game is new to the area, she isn’t sure how many people it will attract.

“Every year, we try and grow Sunday’s attendance,” Ochtera said. “The formula for a good event/festival is music, good food, a fun event to either enter or spectate and plenty of seasonal activities. By adding the New England Cornhole Championship, both days over Fall Festival Weekend are packed full of fun!”

Other weekend events include:

* A free outdoor concert with The Pete Kilpatrick Band and The Mallett Brothers Band.

* The 31st annual Blue Mountain Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday and Sunday.

* Children’s games, pony rides and free horse-drawn wagon rides.

* Scenic lift rides, twin zip lines, bungee trampolines and a climbing wall.

* A Sunday Bloody Sunday Tent, which is described as the only place one can create his or her own Bloody Mary masterpiece.

* Chain saw demonstrations.

* A barbecue and bars.

“With any annual event, we try and add or change things up so it stays fresh and fun,” Ochtera said.

“Adding the pie eating and cornhole championships just gives guests all the more reason to come visit. We have plenty of room for more people to come to Sunday River over Fall Festival Weekend and enjoy the wide variety of events, activities, food and beverages.

“With a Bloody Mary Tent, beer tent, bands playing, a craft fair, kids’ games and a ton of other activities, Sunday should be as much fun as Saturday,” she said.

To sign up and get a registration form for the cornhole championship, visit www.sundayriver.com.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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