Sports family dynasties are an American tradition: The Mannings. The Ripkens. The Earnhardts.
You can put the Herders on that list, too. Once the Olympics add pie-eating to the roster of sanctioned sports.
"It's a pie-eating contest family," said Frankfort's John Herder, who is a perennial contestant in the PieLympics, which is part of this weekend's seventh annual Ice Cream Social.
Herder is probably the most visible competitor of the clan, having placed second in the pie-eating event for the past five years, something he claims has been a travesty to the sport ("I've always thought it was rigged!" he jokes). Over time, he's enlisted other family members, and they've excelled where the senior Herder has stalled.
"Last year, my daughter won ... and my granddaughter won two or three years in a row," he said.
Pie-eating, however, wasn't something Herder was born in to; it was something he was thrust in to.
"Actually,, my wife (Judy) is president of the historical society (one of the sponsors along with the Frankfort Preservation Foundation)," he said. "It's one of those things where she asked, 'Can you do it?' Sure, I can. I volunteered to do it. I was just pressed into service, but I had a lot of fun going."
This year, however, the PieLympics will have a little less Herder in them. His contest-winning daughter lives in Washington now, and John is in Minnesota performing with the Joliet American Legion Band. But there will be at least one representative on hand: Madi, John's granddaughter.
"She's the dark horse in this," Herder said. "I think it's now up to the third generation of this family."
John Herder's Pie-Eating Contest Tip
"Get as much of it on your face as you can. Smash yoursel into the pie because if it's on your face, it counts as being eaten."
Seventh Annual Ice Cream Social
When: 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28. The PieLympics begin at 5:15 p.m.
Where: , 140 Oak St.
How much: Free. Goodwill donations accepted, which go to the sponsors, the and the Frankfort Preservation Foundation.