As Children’s Festival Week (January 11-15) approaches, I’m getting hungry. Why? Ok. Stay with me here: the thought of all those brightly-colored, bundled-up kids on the hill keeps reminding me of a spilled package of Skittles. I love Skittles. So, to satisfy my sweet tooth while simultaneously celebrating the upcoming influx of tots and tweens, I hosted an impromptu 16-and-under sticky-bun-eating bonanza at the Peak Lodge.
To avoid stirring up the kids’ competitive streaks, I made sure to let them know that this wasn’t a competition per se. Instead, I was simply going to time how long it took each kid to wolf down one delectable slopeside staple. Reminders that “choking is bad” and “so is throwing up” seemed to have little impact on my contenders, but I hoped that they would take my wise words to heart. After all, I, too, am a lover of all things sticky. Years of experience has added weight to my words. And to my hips.
Nine lucky dudes and dudettes were approached at random as they gracefully ski-boot-clomped into the lodge with their consent-giving guardians. Each received one sticky bun, plopped perfectly onto a Sunday River recycled paper plate, and begrudgingly answered my annoying questions while staring longingly at the gooey, cinnamon-scented delicacy under their noses.
My contestants were, in no particular order:
Bailey (age 9), from Scarborough, ME
Lane (age 15), from Old Orchard Beach, ME
Max (age 13), from Old Orchard Beach, ME
Trent (age 10), from Gorham, ME
Tess (age 10), from Bethel, ME
Matt (age 9), from Marblehead, MA
Katia (age 10), from Belmont, MA
Logan (age 9), from Scarborough, ME
Eli (age 10), from Marblehead, MA
The nine contenders brought a combined 47.5 years of sticky bun eating experience to the table–literally. Only Max, the brave young lad, had never sampled a sticky before, but in all his 13-year-old bravado, he didn’t even hint at his lack of experience until after the dirty deed was done. Another bright and bold youngster, Trent, proclaimed that he “didn’t really like” sticky buns but was willing to partake “for science.” Ah, youth. Would that we all could charge ahead, unknowing, with such grandeur and hope.
The kids lined up, hungry for victory, for glory, and for processed sugar. I took one last regretful glance at their glowing, unmarred faces and braced myself for the terror that was about to ensue.
When the cinnamon dust settled, it was clear we had a winner. Lane, with his 15 years of experience, his larger frame, and his teenage-fueled hunger, made his munchable monster vanish in 1 minute, 23 seconds. Mouths were agape and eyes were large as he raised his shaking, sticky hands in victory, for we all knew that we’d just witnessed true history being made.
Lane’s friend Max, our sticky bun virgin, gave up after 7 minutes. The hopeful light in his eyes had gone out as he proclaimed that “I don’t want my stomach to hurt so much that I can’t go skiing.” I admired his dedication to the sport. He called Lane a “monster” and went to wash his hands.
Eli, Katie, Matt, and Bailey all completed the mission, but at what cost? Eli, after finishing in second place, was barely conscious enough to register his victory. When asked what he thought the buns’ secret ingredient was after wolfing one in 2 minutes, 51 seconds, all he could manage to croak was, “glaaaaaaaaaze.” Glaze, indeed: the poor fellow’s eyes were half-open and glazed over as he slumped back in his chair to survey the destruction all around.
The rest of the contenders put up a valiant effort, but 9- and 10-year-old-stomachs can only take so much. Trent, Tess, and Logan also DNF’d after several minutes of horrifying oral contortions. They retired to lick their wounds and their fingers, placated by the fact that they’d just enjoyed most of a delicious pastry for free.
The final results were as follows:
Max, Trent, Tess, and Logan: DNF
So what’s the secret to sticky victory? According to Lane, our first annual Sticky Situation victor: “just rip it out and ball it up.” That sounds gross, Lane. Really gross. And also delicious.
Want in on this sweet, sweet delicacy? Join us for Children’s Festival Week, where kids ski, stay, learn, and eat for free when accompanied by their favorite adult.