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Waddington holds Redneck Winter Games

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WADDINGTON — Competitors donned their flannel shirts, hoisted their toilet seats and made sure plenty of beer was on hand for Sunday’s Redneck Winter Games.

Teams with names like the “Durty Britches” and the “Pork Pistols” competed in games such as toilet seat horseshoes and frozen turkey bowling to raise money for the Bassmaster Elite Series St. Lawrence River Showdown, a high-profile professional fishing tournament that will be held in August in Waddington.

“I grew up on a farm, so hopefully that will help,” said contestant Brooke A. Knight of Waddington.

Prizes were given to the winning team, but the games were more about getting into the redneck spirit than any real sense of competition.

“We’re here to get drunk, have fun and raise money for a good cause,” said Joel L. Hockey of Ogdensburg.

Mr. Hockey was one of several men wearing dresses for the games. One of the events was a women-only frying-pan toss, and teams without enough women were forced to make do.

Some tested their equilibrium by mounting a motorized mechanical “bull” made from a padded oil drum. Others tapped into their rural roots, taking up pitchforks for the hay bale toss.

“I’ve tossed a few hay bales in my day,” said Jessica L. Regan of Norfolk.

Her teammate, Mike A. Emlaw of Norfolk, had other priorities.

“We came out for the beer, I think,” he said.

The weather was near zero degrees, but this did not stop the competitors.

“It’s a little cold, but it should be fun,” said Alexandra L. Gausby of Waddington.

The games were created by Deanna Shampine, the event coordinator who is organizing Waddington’s fundraising efforts for the upcoming tournament.

She first thought of frozen turkey bowling, but as more and more outlandish events were suggested, the Redneck Winter Games were created.

More fundraisers will be held monthly leading up to the St. Lawrence River Showdown in August.

The town hopes to raise $100,000 for the event, which may bring as much as $1.5 million in revenue to the region, according to Ms. Shampine.

“It’s considered a prestigious honor to be chosen as a host city, and they chose Waddington,” she said.

“It’ll bring people here for years to come.”

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