Brooklynites eat and win big at first-ever BagelFest Winter Games • Brooklyn Paper

The following Winter Olympic Games received’t roll round till 2026, when snowboarders, skiers, and curlers will descend on Italy’s snow-capped mountains. However on Sunday, New Yorkers bought a style of that aggressive spirit when the BagelFest Winter Games rolled – fairly actually – into Downtown Brooklyn.

“Bagels are an amazing food because they bring all of us together,” mentioned BagelFest founder Sam Silverman, wielding a bagel torch at the Opening Ceremony. “In a world in which it’s kind of difficult to see eye to eye with your neighbors, with the people that you live with in the city, the bagel is the one thing that can unite us. It’s circular and it brings us all together.”

man rolling bagel dough at bagelfest
Bennet Adamson participated within the bagel dough-rolling competitors at BagelFest on Jan. 15. Paul Frangipane
people in bagel-eating contest
The primary occasion of the day was the bagel-eating competitors, the place Brooklynites snarfed down as many doughy baked items as they might.Paul Frangipane

Gathered at CityPoint, a number of the metropolis’s most devoted bagel-lovers engaged in a bagel relay — groups of two folks took half in bagel-stacking, bagel-rolling, a bagel toss, and even bagel curling. 

Bagel-stacking proved to be the most well-liked occasion, as duos stacked the doughy rolls as excessive as they might inside quarter-hour, then stood, watching the delicately-balanced towers sway, hoping to maintain them upright for 60 seconds. 

Stacking may need been the most well-liked, however the primary occasion, the bagel-eating contest, had the largest prize. Harry Harkins, an Astorian, ate 5 total bagels in eight minutes and received the competitors and $500 in money, plus a deluxe present package deal value $200 from Bagel Boss. 

people throwing bagels at bagelfest
Patrick Labuz tried his hand at bagel curling, one of many Winter Olympics-inspired occasions at BagelFest. Paul Frangipane
people stacking bagels at bagelfest
Groups of two rigorously stacked bagels as a part of a relay competitors at the BagelFest Winter Games on Jan. 15

BagelFest actually isn’t new to Brooklyn, however this 12 months’s competitors was. Normally, the occasion is a celebration of New York’s favourite baked breakfast meals — an expo of types that includes dozens of bagel-makers and connoisseurs, the place Brooklynites can pattern totally different bagels and spreads and even vote on their favourite.

Silverman, a lifelong bagel-lover whose ardour reached new heights when he moved to New York Metropolis, mentioned he was impressed to create one other themed consuming occasion to enhance BagelFest. 

man eating bagels in bagel-eating competition at bagelfest
Harry Harkins devoured bagels through the bagel consuming competitors at the Bagel Fest Winter Games — and received a $500 money prize. Paul Frangipane
man measuring stack of bagels
A BagelFest official measures the peak of a bagel stack through the Winter Games. Paul Frangipane

“Growing up, my family called me a bageltarian,” he mentioned. “And I grew up in Massachusetts eating Dunkin’ Donuts and Panera [Bread], so when I moved down here and had a New York bagel for the first time, it absolutely blew my mind and that’s kind of what sparked my passion to bring all this together.”

The precise dates for BagelFest 2023 haven’t been set, however vendor applications for bakers and makers who wish to partake are actually open. Pop Up Bagels has received “Best Bagel” two years in a row, and final 12 months received one free month at DeKalb Market Corridor and a $20,000 advertising and marketing grant. 

man throwing a bagel in the air
Bagels flew by the air — and rolled alongside the bottom — through the bagel-tossing occasion. Paul Frangipane
man winning bagel-eating competition
Harkins celebrated his bagel-eating win at the BagelFest Winter Games. BagelFest brings folks collectively, mentioned founder Sam Silverman, whether or not they’re competing in opposition to one another or sampling bagels at a extra leisurely tempo.Paul Frangipane

“The bagel shop owners, the bakers, the rollers, these people are New York and I love celebrating them,” Silverman mentioned. 

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