Friday July 06, 2012 | 11:12 AM

Rocks don't get a lot of love. Or respect.

For example, how many times during your sibling rivalry years did you tell your little brother he was dumber than a box of rocks?

Nuff said.

But on Saturday, beside the Footbridge at the town parking lot in Boothbay Harbor, rocks will have their day during the 9th Annual Orne's Candy Store International Rock Skipping Contest.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. (or register online in advance) and the first rock will be tossed at 10. Then rocks that are flat, but with rounded edges, rocks that fit nicely in the palm of a hand, rocks that have been tumbled smooth from years in the sea, will not just skip, but dance across the water, eliciting oohs and aahs from onlookers.

Previous winners have sent their rocks skipping nearly 30 times, then walked away with a trophy, the title of champion and a pound of Orne's Rocky Road Fudge.

If that sounds impressive, check out this video of Russell "Rock Bottom" Byars' record of 51 skips during a day near the water in Franklin, Penn. Word is that Rock Bottom threw 40 stones that day but the record-setter was the first he launched.

If you're best efforts are stuck in the single digits, now worries. The competition also spills over to rock-skipping names (you can't compete without one) and costumes, with returnees trying to one-up the previous year's bests. Shannon Bryan wrote about last year's event. Read her story here.

Ages 13 and up pay $5 to compete and kids 12 and under pay $1. Categories include boys, girls, men and women. Everyone gets a stick or rock candy just for competing and all proceeds go to the Boothbay Region Food Pantry.

Oh, and don't forget to bring your own rocks.


About the Author

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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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