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Dairy Day Festival Features Giant Banana Split

LAS CRUCES -- Ice cream lovers will have a chance to dig into one of the largest banana splits ever made at the 19th annual New Mexico Dairy Day June 6 in Dexter.

Hundreds of gallons of ice cream, chocolate and strawberry syrup, bananas and whipped cream will be layered into a 60-foot wooden trough, said Sandra Babers, dairy day organizer.

"We'll hand out about 1,500 spoons to participants, then, just let them go at it," she said. Afterward, participants can wander down to nearby Lake Van to wash off.

Other dairy day activities will include a junior livestock show, volleyball and horseshoe games and a golf tournament for local dairy owners and businessmen. Festival goers also can participate in an ice cream-eating contest and enjoy free regular and chocolate milk, given away throughout the day.

A separate event, the Milkman Triathlon, will be held in conjunction with dairy day, said Mike Cook with New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) program.

REDTT, which is part of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, promotes tourism through agriculture, he said.

"The Milkman Triathlon has been going on for about 14 years," Cook said. "Almost 300 athletes from New Mexico and across the country are expected to compete in this event."

Admission to the dairy day festival, sponsored by the Valley Sertoma Club, is free. For more information, contact Rene Fullbright at (505) 622-4277 or Charlie McClain at (505) 734-6132. For more information about the Milkman Triathlon, call Larry Marshall at (505) 734-5416.