Ten-time winner Cheery Pit Spit champ "Pellet Gun" Krause, July 1997. Photo courtesy Dowagiac Daily News
International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship
Each July since 1974, hundreds of people from
across the country and around the world gather for the
International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship. The contest marks
the beginning of the tart cherry harvest for southwest Michigan. Up
until 1993, Rick Krause of Arizona held the world record with a
spit of 72' 7 1/2". The current Guiness world record is 95' 9 1/2".
In 1998, Brian Kraus, son of Rick Krause, spat 72' 11" to break his
father's North American record set in 1988. The qualification round
is open to anyone of any age.
The Cherry Pit Spit began in 1974, when Herb
Teichman, who, with his family, owns and operates Tree-Mendus Fruit
and grows one of Michigan's largest cherry crops, was looking for
"something to do" with cherry pits. Growing from a neighborhood
get-together to an international competition, the Cherry Pit Spit
is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as an official
competition. Herb Teichman notes: "It's a nutritious sport and the
most entertaining way to dispose of the pit after you've eaten the
cherry....The Pit Spit's persistent popularity is a global
demonstration that healthy eating, deep breathing and physical
exercise can be accomplished simultaneously, in public, with only
a minimal loss of dignity."
Project documentation includes a one-page
informational sheet; the official rules ("Denture racks will be
provided for those who wish to remove their teeth"); two local
newspaper articles and an image on disk.
Originally submitted by: Fred Upton, Representative (6th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.