On Thurs. July 4, competitors and spectators will converge on the beach of the Southernmost Beach Café, 1405 Duval Street, for the 2024 World Famous Key Lime Pie Eating Championship, Key West, Florida’s wildly popular tropical spin-off on New York City’s traditional Fourth of July hotdog-eating contest.

Founded in 2013, up to 25 contestants compete in a timed race to consume a 9-inch Key Lime pie, topped with whipped cream, without using their hands. Winners claim a trophy and championship belt, along with sweet fame and glory.

Last year, Joshua Mogle of Altoona, IA, triumphed with a winning time of 3 minutes, 35 seconds. To date the fastest recorded winning time is a blistering 40:57 seconds, achieved in 2018 by attorney Trey Bergman of Houston, TX. Berman also triumphed in 2017 with a time of 51:92 seconds. Five Key West-based residents have won in past years: Chris Shultz in 2022: 74 sec; David Johnson in 2019: 58.2 sec; and Steve Carr in 2015: 78 sec. There are no recorded times for 2013 winner Gary Delos Santos or 2014 winner Tony Mantia, though Delos Santos, now “Father Gary,” a Miami-based Catholic priest, has announced his intention to return this year and reclaim his title.

“While there’s any number of eating competitions that occur across the U.S. throughout the year, we believe ours takes the cake (so to speak) not only as the Southernmost, but as the most spectacularly sloppy,” said Nadene Grossman Orr, Key Lime Festival Director and President/CEO of We’ve Got the Keys.

Key lime pies are traditionally made with condensed milk, egg yolks and the juice of Key limes within a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue. Competition pies will measure 9 inches (23-centimeters); competitors may not use utensils or their hands, though goggles and dive masks are permitted.

The World Famous Key Lime Pie Eating Championship at the Southernmost Beach Café kicks off at 1:30pm but its Key Lime vendor village opens to the public at 10:00am; other festivities, games and attractions at 11am.

The World Famous Key Lime Pie Eating Championship is a highlight of Key West’s five-day long Key Lime Festival which runs from July 3-July 7 and is presented in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council and We’ve Got the Keys. Admission to the competition is free, cost to compete is $25 and is open to those aged 18 and up. For registration links and a full calendar of events, visit http://www.keylimefestival.com.