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Competitors Jump Into “Limelight” For Pie Eating Contest

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Tony Mantia, left, raises his hands to signal he is the first contestant to finish consuming a full pie during the Key Lime Pie Eatin' Contest Friday, July 4, 2014, in Key West, Fla. The event was staged during the Key Lime Festival that continues through Saturday, July 5, and features several events including the creation of the world's largest Key lime pie and a Miss Key Lime Pageant. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Tony Mantia, left, raises his hands to signal he is the first contestant to finish consuming a full pie during the Key Lime Pie Eatin’ Contest Friday, July 4, 2014, in Key West, Fla. The event was staged during the Key Lime Festival that continues through Saturday, July 5, and features several events including the creation of the world’s largest Key lime pie and a Miss Key Lime Pageant. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB)  –  Locals and visitors jumped into the “limelight” in Key West for a Key Lime Pie Eatin’ contest  during the July 4th weekend.

Tony Mantia of Key West got a face full of whipped cream but triumphed over other contenders in the adult division of the contest, a highlight of the Key Lime Festival.

Entrants were charged with finishing a standard-sized pie, adorned with mounds of whipped cream, faster than their competitors — but without using their hands. They attempted strategies ranging from immersing their faces in whipped cream to tipping over the pie pan and licking up its contents.

“I took it a little slow at first, then I looked at my competition and sucked it down,” said Mantia.

Friday’s pie-eating contest was staged the same day as the unveiling of a Key lime pie measuring 9 feet, 2 inches in diameter, expected to shatter the previous record for the world’s largest Key lime pie.

Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie was designated Florida’s official pie in 2006 by the state legislature. While preparation methods and even some ingredients vary, few people visit the Keys without sampling at least one slice

The Key Lime Festival concludes Saturday evening after a Key lime pie-making championship and a “Miss Key Lime U.S.A.” pageant.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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