Ice cream eating contest and yo-yo competition were highlights at the annual Family Freedomfest

Hannah Grover The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Ice cream, live music and a yo-yo competition were some of the highlights of this year's Family Freedomfest at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park on Friday.

The festival is one of the annual events celebrating the Fourth of July here. It started with an ice cream-eating contest. The contest was broken into age groups, and the participants had to eat ice cream off a plate without using their hands.

Avery Baidesen, 9, won his age division of the contest. He said the most difficult part of it was "you get ice cream in your nose."

Another highlight of the event was the yo-yo competition. Ten yo-yo artists competed for $500 worth of prizes in the 11th annual Yo Down Show Down.

Luke Renner, a local yo-yo artist, started the competition after being asked to demonstrate his skills during a previous Family Freedomfest.

"It's a good way to get people out doing something," Renner said.

He said the competition went along well with the ice cream social.

Since its inception, the competition has attracted people from all over the state. This year, Dominic Abbott, 16, and Ventura Abram, 28, traveled from Albuquerque to compete, and Keyshawn Yazzie, 14, and his family drove to Farmington from Carson to compete.

"It's always amazing to see who comes in," Renner said.

The competition came down to Abbott and Yazzie in a 60-second freestyle match. The audience judged their tricks, and Yazzie won the match by earning the loudest applause.

After the match ended, Abram was invited back onto the stage to show off horizontal yo-yo tricks. He spun the yo-yo on its side on his finger, and the audience cheered.

Abram said he came to the Farmington competition to meet other yo-yo enthusiasts.

"Not a whole lot of people do it," he said.

Friday's activities were the second day of the city's annual Freedom Days celebration and concluded with a fireworks display atop Sullivan Hill that went off after a 15-minute weather-related delay. Freedom Days continues today with such events as the Party in the Park and the Electric Light Parade.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.