Chloe Goff, 6, of Biddeford, bites into a cinnamon bun during a competition at the Beach Olympics at Old Orchard Beach on Saturday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — They came from near and far to participate in the Beach Olympics games on Saturday.

Participating youngsters were seated at a table in The Square, ready to compete in a cinnamin bun eating contest. Each got a cinnamon bun on a plate and a cup of water to wash it down with. Judges laid out the rules — hands below the table and the winner had to eat, chew and swallow, the whole pastry.

Things got a little messy, and some ended up with icing covering their faces, but the competitors gave it their all.

The winner was 11-year-old Raphael Foisy from Quebec, Canada, who stood up triumphantly and reached for a cup of water to wash down the pastry he had consumed in record time.

When asked what his secret to winning was, he said, with his mother, Jessica, as translator, that he simply enjoyed eating the pastry. “(He said) It was good,” said Jessica Foisy.

Raphae Foisy, 11, of Quebec, Canada, takes a drink of water after winning a cinnamon bun eating competition on Saturday in Old Orchard Beach. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

Jessica Foisy said her family enjoys Old Orchard Beach and vacations there every August.

Saturday’s games, which also included a bubble gum blowing contest and an ice cream eating contest, were part of the weekend long 35th Annual Beach Olympics, an event hosted by the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce to benefit Special Olympics Maine.

Saturday’s festivities also drew locals. Karen Ramunno, who owns a pizza stand near The Square was at the event with her extended family. She said she goes to the event every year.

“It’s convenient for us and it’s fun,” she said.

The festivities kicked off Friday night, with a torch-lighting ceremony and live music. There was also music in the square on Saturday and Sunday, and dance performances on Saturday. Many area businesses had donated items for a silent auction or put donation jars in their businesses. There were also volunteer toll booths collecting money for Special Olympics.

Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Verreault said in an interview prior to the event that organizers had raised about $15,000 at last year’s event for Special Olympics Maine and were hoping to raise the same this year.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected].

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