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Former Anorexic to Compete in Watermelon-Eating Contest

This Sunday, "Furious Pete" Czerwinski will face off against "Gentleman" Joe Menchetti and Dale "Mouth of the South" Boone at Mardi Gras Casino in a major watermelon-eating contest.

The event -- which features a whopping 84 contestants -- begins at 1 p.m. According to the rules, "Each contestant will have 3 minutes to consume as many watermelon slices as they can. Partially eaten and un-swallowed watermelon slices will not count."

The prize?

The Watermelon Champ Title Belt and $2,500 cash.

Second place wins $1,000, and third place gets $500. But even those who place fourth through 84th get a consolation prize -- $20 to play in the casino.

Furious Pete is the subject of a documentary that examines how his life has changed since he was 16 and almost died from anorexia. After being hospitalized, he began to eat more normally over the years, until 2007, when on a whim, he ordered four breakfasts at a restaurant. Over the past three years, he's entered 18 competitive eating contests -- and won 17 of them.

Now, the Mardi Gras Casino has organized a full day of fun around Pete's visit:

1st Annual Watermelon Eating Contest schedule of events:

Noon - 9 p.m. NASCAR Racing Simulator on the veranda

1 p.m. Watermelon Eating contest on the veranda

1 - 9 p.m. BBQ in the second floor sport's lounge

5 - 9 p.m. Karaoke in the second floor sport's lounge

6 p.m. 1st Annual Watermelon Champ announced

6 - 10 p.m. Jazz duo Davis & Dow in the French Quarter Restaurant & Bar

8 - midnight. Rock 'n' roll band Fusion, on the south side of the casino floor

10 p.m. White 2010 Mustang Giveaway winner announced

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Deirdra Funcheon

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