Greg Moberly

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March 9, 2008
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Flight of the pasty


Paris and Rome compete for food. Oxford and Cambridge compete for education. And Grass Valley and Nevada City compete to see who can toss a Cornish pasty the farthest.

In this year's competition, Nevada City Mayor Sally Harris narrowly defeated Grass Valley Mayor Mark Johnson in the local tradition, held over the weekend in Grass Valley.

"It's all about technique and not about strength," said Harris, adding that luck played into her victory, as well.

Harris will receive a trophy at Wednesday's Nevada City Council meeting for downing Johnson in the best two-out-of-three pasty toss.

The city leaders tossed the unique pastry, modeled after the meat-and-potato pastry that miners carried for lunch, with the goal of getting closest to the center of a Cornish flag about 50 feet away.

The modified crescent-shaped pasties were stuffed with dog food instead of the traditional ingredients.

Harris won the last toss, beating Johnson by about an inch and a half.

When the mayors finished competing, and sometimes before they finished, dogs gobbled up the assorted pastry treats.

"No pasties were wasted," said Johnson, who conceded his golden retriever ate one of the treats before the competition ended.

"There was a break away by a bad-mannered dog," Johnson said, jokingly deflecting responsibility for the dog to his wife.

The Saturday event was part of several days of events honoring St. Piran, the patron of Cornish tin miners.

Cornwall is the homeland of thousands of hard-rock gold miners brought into western Nevada County to work the mines.

St. Piran's flag is a white cross on a black background, according to the Cornish Web site, www.st-piran.com.

To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gmoberly@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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The Union Updated Mar 10, 2008 04:08AM Published Mar 9, 2008 03:00AM Copyright 2008 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.