Saturday, December 29
Pos's 26th annual Donut Festival kicked off last night on the main beach, with the judges, including the Mayor, gobbling their way through 28 different donuts in search of a winner. The judges tucked in with enthusiasm at the beginning but by the time the fourteenth plate of donuts were brought out their stomachs were starting to feel the strain. "Have we nearly finished?" asked the Mayor, leaning back in his chair and holding his groaning stomach, "What do you mean only another 10 to go?"
Anybody can enter the contest by making a plate of either traditional ring donuts, usually rolled in sugar and cinnamon or the neopolitan Christmas zeppole, drenched in honey and hundreds and thousands. As the judges sampled each plate, proud cooks stood nearby, watching to see how their donuts were received. A prize was also being given for the most bizzarely presented plate of zeppole and one contestant worried that her plate was not decorated enough when it was deemed unsafe to light the sparkler that she had tied to a small christmas tree in the middle of her plate.
As the judges filled their tummies onlookers wandered around the food stalls that had been set up at the end of the beach. The shower stalls where in the summer bathers shower off salty water and sand, had been turned into a grill pit, cooking large coils of sausage which were sold together with spicy broccoli shoots in a large sandwich. Other stalls sold pizza, pasta fagioli, chips, suprisingly good local wine made by Zio Bruno, and of course zeppole.
In one corner a stage had been set up and a man stood singing while the younger children danced around and ran across the cold dark beach. The competition drew to a close, but then the lights went down and a DJ appeared. The music livened up and the kids went wild, dancing through the smoke machine that had appeared out of nowhere. Zio Brunos wine had finished so we stocked up on beer, gearing up to dance on the makeshift dancefloor that was a busy restaurant in the summer. But at 11pm the music stopped, the lights went out and everybody went home.
We had no choice but to leave too. Maybe Saturday night would be better, as the festival continued with the famous tug-of-war contest on the beach, followed by other games, more food, more drink and more music...
at 10:17 AM