World's largest open faced sandwich

Josue Antonio probably slept well Saturday night.

After all, he had the satisfaction of knowing his hard work helped build what is believed to be the world's largest open-faced sandwich.

The 12-year-old was among the volunteers who constructed the 1,652-pound sandwich that was one of the highlights of the 25th annual John C. Fremont Days.

Don Cunningham, the JCF Days board member who thought up the idea, will spend the next couple of days putting together the documentation for officials at the Guinness Book of World Records, who must certify the sandwich's record.

"It's a real treat for the 25th anniversary," Cunningham said while slicing up the giant sandwich. "It's one of the highlights of the weekend, but everybody is doing a lot of work this weekend."

To construct the sandwich, the Jerry Carson family spent early Saturday mixing up the bread dough in the kitchens at Hy-Vee and Midland University. That dough was placed on a specially designed baking tray made by Getzschman Heating and Air and then baked in a trailer converted into an oven that could produce 400,000 BTUs.

After baking for 1 hour, 35 minutes, Hormel employees and their families spent the next several hours grilling 23 cases of SPAM and then placing it on the sandwich. They even used the Big Green Egg grill at the Air Comfort booth to help grill.

"The world has been enjoying SPAM for over 70 years, and we've been fortunate enough to be doing business in Fremont, Neb., producing SPAM since 1947," said Donnie Temperley, the local plant manager. "The people at the plant are very proud of what they do. They're outstanding employees. When it came to asking for volunteers, they always step up to make a difference and be active in the community.

"I couldn't be more proud of them," he added.

That's how Josue got involved. His mother works at Hormel.

"I wanted to help," he said. "I like the Guinness World Record Book."

With more than 11,500 slices of SPAM - all sliced by hand over three days at the Fremont plant - on the scales, mustard and pickles were added to meet Guinness specifications.

The official weigh-in was conducted by troopers from the Nebraska State Patrol. They put the weight at about 300 pounds more than the previous record.

"It's just a great day for Fremont," said Mayor Scott Getzschman. "When you look at the community involvement, Getzschman employees, Hy-Vee employees, Hormel employees cooking up the SPAM and then just all the people from the community that got involved and started to put this together, the excitement just grew and grew."

The event did bring members of the community together.

"You've got all these people involved in it, and that's what it's all about - getting the community involved in something that's going to be world renowned," Temperley said.

After the crowd that had gathered celebrated the possible world record, many eat a sample of the giant sandwich.
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