SYCAMORE – They had pie smeared on their faces, in their hair and even on their eyelashes.
Some 48 contestants in Sycamore Public Library's third annual pie-eating contest enjoyed some messy fun Friday, also known as Pi Day. March 14, or 3/14, celebrates the mathematical constant for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, known by the Greek letter Pi.
One of the contest coordinators, Jesse Butz, head of adult and information services, said more people sign up each year.
"People love this," Butz said with a big grin.
Each contestant received a big slice of banana cream pie, cut from 13 pies donated by Parkway Family Restaurant in Sycamore. With their hands behind their backs, they dove in and chowed down.
The teen group, ages 12 to 17, had a tie for first place between Jennifer McMahon, 16, and Jonathan Kurtzman, 14. McMahon also won last year, against a smaller field that contained both teens and adults.
"I inhaled it," McMahon said. "The hardest part was the crust, because you actually have to chew it."
Kurtzman wasn't sure what he did, but his technique left his face covered in banana cream.The third-place winner, Eli Bliujus, 13, said he has participated all three years and managed to finish third every time.
"That's cool," Bliujus said. "Three is the first number in pi."
Eli's brother, Jacob, won the contest in the youngest group, children ages 5 to 11. Charlotte Salis, 11, finished second; and Kameron Schroeder, 9, was third.
Eli's father, D.J. Kurtzman, took first place in the adult division, emerging with a beard and mustache covered with whipped cream.
The second- and one of the two third-place winners in the adult division also are siblings. John Latsis took second and his sister, Michelle Latsis, tied for third with Michelle Schroeder.