Mayor faces the public at Silt Heyday |

Mayor faces the public at Silt Heyday

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

SILT, Colorado – What’s it like as a local elected official to receive a pie in the face?That question was answered by Silt Mayor Dave Moore and former Mayor John Evans at the Silt Heyday festival Saturday.Moore took his hat off and placed a paper towel around his neck. Former Town Trustee Doug Williams got Moore with the paper plate full of whipped cream, seeming to rub it into Moore’s face for a moment as a group of people gawked and took photos. Moore emerged with a white mask over his face.”That’s nice and cool,” he said with a smile. Later in the day, he added, “(Williams) is an ex-trustee for the town of Silt that’s been wanting to get me a pie in the face for a long time … and he’s a good friend.”

Has anyone ever hit Moore with a pie before?”Only my wife,” he said, again with a smile.Evans got the first “pie” of the day earlier that morning.”It was – the pie tasted pretty good. That was my most noticeable memory,” Evans said. “This person kind of really wrapped my face with it. I need to remember to take a breath before.”The “pie” was actually just a plate full of whipped cream, so as not to waste a real pie. Moore and Evans agreed to submit to the pies in the face after John Zeller asked them to raise funds for YouthZone’s annual Kiss-n-Squeal fundraiser. It cost $5 plus any extra donation people were willing to give.”I think John handled it pretty well,” Zeller said. “He has really good lung capacity.”Evans moved to Silt in 1979 and has been to a number of the annual Heyday festivals. He said it seemed to be well-attended this year, and the food always seems to be a big draw for people.”I reckon if these festivals didn’t have food they wouldn’t be as well-attended,” he said.

The annual festival of 39 years kicked off with a pancake breakfast, which normally serves about 300 plates a year. The day included a parade that shut down the main street, a beer tent, kids games, vintage baseball, jalapeño-eating and watermelon-seed-spitting contests, crafts, food, live music and more.Joe Shelton seemed to agree with Evans’ sentiment about the allure of festival food. Asked why he came to the festival, he joked, “Free food!”His wife, Sharon, said they came from Dillon to hear their cousins play live country western music at the festival. The parade was “great,” they said.”It’s just small town U.S.A.,” Sharon said.They were awaiting the start of other activities after the parade. Joe was considering entering the jalapeño-eating contest.”I’d be the champion of that, as long as they don’t have salmonella,” he said.The jalapeño-eating contest had been thrown into question when a salmonella scare caused jalapeños to be pulled from grocer’s shelves. But Heyday organizer Peggy Swank said the festival managed to obtain 46 jalapeños from the Watson Farm Market in Palisade. The contest has gone on for at least seven years and normally six to eight people compete. Milk is on hand to soothe the burn the red-eyed pepper-eaters are known to experience.Six people entered the contest this year, and Frank Hernandez came out with the most impressive jalapeño-eating skills. Tony Gross finished second, and Blake Bianco placed third. Hernandez was rewarded with a gift card to Dos Hombres.

“They each ate four jalapeño peppers, and Frank was the fastest,” Swank said.Hernandez, of Silt, said eating the four jalapeños took probably about 2 minutes or a little less.”It was good, man, it was a tight competition. This guy, he put them all in his mouth, the fourth one about the same time that I did but he could not … down it. … He looked like a little chipmunk. I think he had them all in his mouth.”Hernandez said the winning strategy was to recognize which peppers were the hottest beforehand and save them until last. And they were hot. “They were so hot. They were – believe me, not just any pepper makes me cry, and these guys made me cry.”Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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