Dining With Denise Neil

River Festival makes national food magazine

Funnel cake fryers: Be on alert.

My friend Liz recently made me aware that a national publication had recognized the Wichita River Festival’s funnel cake-eating contest, a disturbingly fascinating festival attraction that’s scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday on the main food court stage.

Food Network Magazine’s June 2013 issue includes an article about eating competitions going on across the country this summer. The article recognizes face-stuffing-fests such as the brat eating contest in Sheboygan, Wisc.;  a mashed potato eating contest in Barnesville, Minn.; and a lobster-eating competition in Portland, Maine. (That one I’d consider.)James Bradley Price II, the very first winner of the very first Wichita River Festival funnel cake eating contest, back in 2009The funnel cake eating contest, a River Festival tradition since 2009, is hard to watch and even harder to win. The winner has consumed the most funnel cakes in a 10-minute period. I watched once, and that was enough. On the inaugural year, winner James Bradley Price II managed to consume only three and a half of the deep-fried delicacies.

Wanna participate? You can sign up at the festival at the KGSO booth from 5 to 7 p.m. today (Monday) and from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

For more information, call the festival at 316-267-2817.