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Larchmont, N.Y. -- The winner and two runners-up of D'Agostino Supermarkets' bagging contest will square off against three ace Price Chopper baggers in the New York state finals today at the D'Agostino Supermarket in Rye Brook.
America Evins, winner of the D'Agostino contest last month, and runners-up Marcia Botex and Tamara Calhoun will compete with Price Chopper's top three baggers, Danielle Gordon, Seamus Higgins, and Natalia Bogan.
"To encourage competition, we will have a Price Chopper contest directly compete against a D'Agostino contestant," said D'Agostino in a statement. "We will match the listed No. 1 for Price Chopper with the listed No. 1 for D'Agostino, No. 2 with No. 2, and No. 3 with No. 3."
As in the September initial heats and the October finals, the contestants will take part in two rounds, first with papers bags, then with plastic. Baggers will be judged on speed, bag-building technique, weight distribution between bags, style, attitude, and appearance. Two judges will officiate, Christine Pointer from D'Agostino and Karen Hess, manager of scanning and front end operations at Price Chopper.
Contestants will have to pack a half-gallon of milk, one dozen extra-large eggs, one box of cold cerea1, one two-liter bottle of soda, one roll of paper towels, on salad clamshell, one bar of soap, one 12-ounce bottle of salad dressing, on 24-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce, a loaf of bread, a two-pack of light bulbs, two one-pound cartons of spaghetti, an 18-ounce package of oatmeal, a one-pound package of ground beef, and a 16-ounce package of salt. The same items were used in the D'Agostino competitions, and will fit into either two paper bags or three plastic ones, according to the grocer.
A champion supermarket bagger (not a consumer) from each state is eligible to enter the finals at the National Grocers Association Annual Convention, slated for the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in 2008. The upcoming national competition will mark the 23rd annual NGA Best Bagger Competition, which began in Dallas, Texas.