Wurst Challenge II • Ypsilanti • March 29

The eyes of the world are about to be on us again, Ypsilanti.

Last year’s Wurst Challenge, as you may remember, was probably the biggest non-murder-related media event in the history of Ypsilanti. Our “20 Feet of Meat” challenge, for whatever reason, captured the imagination of folks around the world. People were talking about it from San Francisco to Colorado Springs. Photos ran in the Washington Post. A story ran on Fox News. A reporter from the Associated Press even called part-way through the event just to ask how much sausage had been consumed thus far. And, toward the end of the evening, the good folks at the ABC affiliate in Detroit sent out a news crew to check up on us and make sure that we were alright. Here, in case you missed it, is the footage.

And, not only did we get a lot of incredibly good press for Ypsi, demonstrating just how much people in this community love to dress up in silly costumes and swallow ungodly amounts of smoked meat for a good cause, but we raised quite a bit of money for a great cause.

The first Wurst Challenge brought in $7,737 for Ypsilanti’s FLY Children’s Art Center, so that FLY could start up their now vibrant Creativity Lab in downtown Ypsilanti.

So, as no one died, and, more importantly, as a lot of money was raised, we’ve decided to do it again.

The Wurst Challenge II will be held Sunday, March 29, at Ypsilanti’s Wurst Bar.

Here’s the press release:

March 19, 2015

WURST CHALLENGE II announced for Sunday, March 29 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Sausage-loving philanthropists square off to take on 20-foot bratwursts for a good cause.

FLY Children’s Art Center, in corporation with the Wurst Bar, New Holland Brewing Company and Mark Maynard.com, will host the second annual Wurst Challenge on March 29, 2015. The event, a fundraiser for FLY’s Creativity Lab in downtown Ypsilanti, will pit sausage-loving philanthropists (including local luminaries such as acclaimed roboticist Cre Fuller, and defending champion Jason “Knifebeard SausageHawk” Youngs) against an imposing 20 feet of delicious, freshly made bratwurst.

Each challenger will be seeking community financial support through the FLY Children’s Art Center website, with proceeds going toward the expansion of FLY’s ongoing creativity education initiatives in downtown Ypsilanti.

“FLY packs quality creative experiences into children’s minds the same way that we pack quality meats into an all natural casing. With so much in common, it was just a matter of time before we started working together,” said Jesse Kranyak, the owner of Ypsilanti’s Wurst Bar, who will be serving up the two-story tall bratwursts.

On March 29, starting at 6:00 PM, each challenger will be served a 20 foot long bratwurst, which he or she will attempt to consume in its entirety, in hopes of defeating reigning champion Jason “Knifebeard SausageHawk” Youngs. The Wurst Bar has generously offered to donate “10 cents an inch” to FLY for all sausage consumed by the panel of challengers. In addition, challengers will use social media to raise funds from friends and supporters. [Doors will open at 5:00 PM.]

Prizes will be awarded to the challenger who raises the most money, the one who consumes the most bratwurst, and the “audience favorite”—the individual to attack his or her brat with the greatest sense of style. One of these awards will be a $200 tattoo donated by legendary Ypsilanti tattoo artist Bill Falsetta at Ypsilanti’s Depot Town Tattoo.

[The Wurst Bar will provide tofu apple bratwursts for non-carnivores.]

“Last year’s event was incredible, and we’re excited to see it happen again,” said Morgan Cox, a board member of FLY. “The funds raised will go to offer scholarships, grow our outreach in local schools, and to sustain our Creativity Lab, which is becoming a destination in Ypsilanti and attracting kids from across southeast Michigan. Last year, we raised almost $8,000, which really helped us to ramp up our programming to offer innovative camps and workshops where youth can discover, play, invent—and develop self-confidence.”

Kate “Holy Kow!” Stroud, one of the challengers who will be facing off against 20 feet of meat during the event, had the following to say about FLY: “All kids and people should have access to playing and making and learning that one can create something out of nothing. As FLY states on their website ‘The power of creativity is the power of change.’ I see that as change personally and in everything around us. I believe, as FLY states, that ‘every child needs a superpower.’ I know I found my super power in creating and I hope that every child comes to also know that inner superpower. My kids have participated in FLY classes and events. It’s a valuable addition to our community that I would love to see here and grow in the years to come.”

Those not directly participating in the Wurst Challenge, are encouraged to attend to cheer on their favorite participants, and enjoy what promises to be an awesome event for sausage eaters and non-sausage eaters alike.

“It took thousands of scientists and millions of dollars to put a man on the moon. What we accomplished last year, I think, was more significant. With only a skeleton crew, and not a dollar of taxpayer money, we created not one, but ten 20-foot-long sausages. No one thought that a small group of Ypsilantians could succeed where so many renowned sausage scientists had failed, but we did it,” says event coordinator Mark Maynard. “And, yes, in spite of the press coverage, some people still don’t believe it. Some still claim that it was an illusion. And that, in part, is why we’ve decided to go back and attempt it one more time. We want to prove to the doubters that it wasn’t a fluke, or a trick – that we really do have the technology, the intellect, and the courage to create sausages four times longer than the human intestine.”

In addition to everything else, on New Holland Brewing’s White Hatter Belgian-style white pale ale during the evening will support FLY.

Cre Fuller, one of the first to accept the challenge this year, had the following to say when asked why he’d signed on. “I’m overjoyed at the prospect of eating large amounts of delicious sausage from the Wurst Bar for a good cause. As an artist, Fly Children’s Art Center means a lot to me. And, I can think of no better way to support it, as I love eating sausage almost as much as I love art education,” he said.

For information on how to sign up for the Wurst Challenge, or to contribute on behalf of an existing participant, visit the FLY website.

ABOUT FLY:
FLY Children’s Art Center believes that the ability to solve problems with creativity fuels a healthy community and enables kids to build bright futures. Since 2009, FLY has provided hundreds of kids with powerful, hands-on, creative experiences in free after-school workshops across Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The FLY Creativity Lab, (40 N. Huron Street in downtown Ypsilanti) launched in 2013, brings interdisciplinary workshops, camps and events to area youth.

wurstchal2

[A PDF of the poster can be found here, for those of you with access to printers and a desire to help spread the word.]

Find out more on the Wurst Challenge II Facebook event page, and be sure to share it with your friends.

And please choose your favorite competitor and start donating! [The ten prospective challengers who have raised the most in donations will move forward into the competition.]

And, if you would like to enter the competition yourself, it’s not too late. Just fill out the entry form, and start asking your friends, family and co-workers to back you. If you’re motivated, you can do a hell of a lot in a week.

Oh, and please share this post with your friends, especially if they have tons of money to donate to an awesome cause… or own a television station.

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3 Comments

  1. Tim
    Posted March 20, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Knifebeard Sausagehawk is the name of a champion.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 20, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Rosamunde Grill has an annual sausage eating competition that requires you also drink a beer.

    http://rosamundesausagegrill.com/uncategorized/4th-annual-craft-beer-sausage-eating-contest-sign-up/

  3. Dan Blakeney
    Posted March 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The eyes of the world are on our weiners…

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  1. […] sausages at the Wurst Bar on Sunday, March 29, all in the name of charity. The second annual Wurst Bar challenge, a fundraiser for FLY’s Children’s Art Center Creativity Lab in downtown Ypsilanti, is […]

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