The bar was set high for the first of four pie-eating contests this weekend at the when a 7-year-old girl from Cupertino managed to clear her entire pie plate and emerge coated in pumpkin from the crown of her head to the tip of her chin.
Dozens of children competed in the quest to become the fastest — and the messiest — eater of the bunch in front of judges Michael Langfelder (Half Moon Bay Safeway) and Shalon Rogers (Radio Disney).
No hands were allowed.
With excited parents cheering them on from behind as well as from the front of the stage this year, the contestants — all age 11 and younger — focused on eating as much as they could as fast as possible.
Each strategy was unique. Some took in little scoops like miniature bulldozers, while others took the vacuum cleaner/lawnmower approach by licking up rivulets of pumpkin in neat lines.
After eating a good amount of the pie, began to use a shovel-and-dump method which entailed taking bites and transfering it to the side of the table.
But only a few fully accomplished the feat of eating rapidly and getting messy simultaneously.
To transform their face into a new shade of orange, contestants plunged their face into the pie, smearing the contents from cheek to cheek.
In the audience's opinion, no one did this better than 7-year-old Cupertino resident Skylar.
She was crowned as the winner of the contest over the other two selected finalists, 10-year-old Milo Halperin of Santa Cruz and a young boy from Cincinnati named Jack who had just flown into the Bay Area that morning.
Both Milo and Jack ate a lot of pie, but they did not rival Skylar's orange hue by far.
At the end of the contest, Skylar's loose bangs had turned into a cluster of pumpkin-bound ropes, and a heavy application of gloppy pumpkin eyeshadow was starting to drip into the corner of her left eye.
Judging by the smile on her face, it looked like she wouldn't have wanted to be doing anything else on Saturday afternoon.
Afterwards, paper towels were distributed and faces were quickly restored to their pre-contest condition.
But the memories will last much longer.
Come back tomorrow to Half Moon Bay Patch for the story of the age 12 and up pie-eating contest, along with a video of both pumpkin pie-eating contests on Saturday.