Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Nassau Fire Chief Association Board Member Raymond McGuire were joined by Island Park Mayor Michael McGinty; Island Park Deputy Mayor Steve D’Esposito; Peter’s Clam Bar Owner Butch Yamali; Island Park Fire Chief Anthony D’Esposito; Ed “Cookie” Jarvis, one of Sunday’s Judges and also a top ranked competitive speed eater with 34 titles; and local south shore fire department officials in announcing that the Annual Long Island Clam Eating Contest will be held this Sunday, August 17th at Peter’s famous Clam Bar in Island Park. Funds raised from the event will benefit local south shore firehouses that sustained damages from Superstorm Sandy. Local fire houses and equipment were devastated at as a result of the storm.
“This is a great event to give back to the great men and women that serve our community,” said County Executive Mangano. “With only a few more weeks of summer left you can come on down support your local volunteer fire departments and have a great time.”
On Sunday, World Champion Eater Takeru Kobayashi of Japan will coach local firefighters in the clam eating contest. Kobayashi is the former Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Champion and holds various eating World Records. The current World Record for clam eating is 26 dozen Cherrystone Clams in 6 minutes set at Peter’s Clam Bar in 2010. The Clam Eating Contest will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Peter’s Clam Bar where firehouses from Island Park, Long Beach, Lakeview, Baldwin, Point Lookout and East Rockaway will be sending some of their best eaters to compete for cash prizes. In addition to the firehouse contest, there will be an open contest for the public at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The entrance fee for the public clam eating contest is $20, which will be donated to the winning firehouse. The open contest will also have cash prizes. Entrance fees for participating fire fighters will be waived. Registration will be held on the day of the event.
Long Island’s history, culture and traditions are closely linked to clams. The first coastal inhabitants of New York called Long Island the “Island of Shells” in recognition of the vast numbers of clam, oyster and other shells deposited on its shore. According to the New York Seafood Council in the 1970s more than half of the clams eaten in the United States were from Long Island at their peak population, clams filtered 40 percent of the water within the bay and contributed over $100 million to the local economy. Peters Clam bar has served the Long Island community for over 75 years.