"Kids, get those puckers in shape"

"It's time for South Whidbey kids to get in shape.Strengthen those mandible muscles; develop a more powerful pucker; learn to exhale with authority.What for? For the first annual Island County Fair Bubble Gum Blowing Contest, organized by Eva Mae Gabelein.Gabelein has studied bubble blowing contests elsewhere, and says the winners don't just walk up with a wad of gum and blow. No, they have to get in shape, and she encourages kids to begin now. The bubble contest will be held on the Midway each day of the fair, Aug. 17-20.Get practicing blowing, Gabelein advises kids. She plans divisions for ages 10 and under, 13 and under, and 14 and over.Gabelein hasn't yet decided which brand of bubble gum to use for the contest, although she is strongly leaning toward Double Bubble. Each contestant will be given five minutes in which to thoroughly masticate the gum, after which judges will measure the bubbles. The 2000 Guinness Book of World Record lists the world's record bubble as one 23 inches in diameter blown in 1994 by a California woman. Gabelein said there will be prizes for each division. And everyone will be a winner. We'll furnish the gum, she said."

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