Best Tasting Lemonade Contest at the Children's Museum Kicks Off Lemonade Day

Categories: Beverages

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Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
The Alonso sisters with their lemonade stand.
"We thought it tasted too sweet," said Brenda Alonso as she stood shyly next to her sister behind their lemonade stand. "So we added a little bit of salt." The 10-year-old beamed as I told her what a good idea that had been, her 7-year-old sister Frances hopping up and down next to her in excitement.

The Alonso sisters were one team out of more than 50 who showed up to the Children's Museum on Saturday, April 23, to display their entrepreneurial skills to a dozen judges, including Jillyan Moor, Miss Teen Houston 2011, and Amazing Race 7 winner Uchenna Agu. The annual Best Tasting Lemonade Contest, in which they were all participating, is the kick-off event for the yearly Lemonade Day, where youth across the nation are encouraged to set up lemonade stands to learn skills that will serve them well in the future.

Those entrepreneurial skills were on full display Saturday morning as children proudly displayed their recipes, extolled the health benefits of their lemonade, showed off their impeccably decorated stands and tugged on judges' arms until their lemonade had been tried and tested by everyone present.

Although I was only supposed to judge 12 out of the dozens of stands, it was difficult not to try each sample; the kids had clearly worked very hard, after all.

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These Girl Scouts won a second place trophy.
A no-nonsense 14-year-old girl in a hijab and Girl Scout sash introduced herself as Yaiyina before she quickly launched into an explanation of her team's mint lemonade sweetened with honey. "The mint is good for your stomach," she said, "and the local honey is good for allergies and asthma." True or not, I liked her pitch, and I loved the way she carefully poured her lemonade over a silver tea strainer onto some ice cubes before handing it over.

Her team, no surprise, ended up winning second place in the Healthiest Lemonade category (along with earning some Girl Scout badges in the process). Awards were given for Most Original and Best Tasting as well, presented by emcee Miya Shay from KTRK Channel 13 and Imperial Sugar CEO John Sheptor.

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Cristal Garcia's lemonade was flavored with strawberries and watermelon.
A delicious strawberry-basil lemonade won Most Original, and one of my favorites of the day, presented by a 13-year-old named Patricia, won for Best Tasting Lemonade. Patricia had only had a small, simple stand, but her lemonade with chunks of strawberry, mango, lime and blood oranges had wowed everyone who tasted it.

This coming Sunday, May 1, is Lemonade Day, and aside from all the youngsters who participated in the event at the Children's Museum, you'll see lemonade stands across town at places like Discovery Green and other local parks -- perhaps even in your own neighborhood. Be sure to stop by, buy a lemonade and help Houston's kids invest in their own futures.

For more photos from the Best Tasting Lemonade Contest, check out our slideshow.



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11 comments
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John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

That little chick with the tiara is obviously a stone cold badass.

csoakley
csoakley

I think I must have chugged down about a gallon of lemonade last year driving around the Heights. It's really great to see their faces light up when a new customer drives up (well, most of them anyway).

I've been wanting to put together a Lemonade Crawl and really show these kids some support. Who's with me? Let's overwhelm these kids with some customers and some $$. Surely there are at least a dozen HP readers who will join me on May 1st.

Mandy/Lemonade Day
Mandy/Lemonade Day

Hey csoakley ... funny enough, I'm trying to organize something similar! Drop me a note & let's get it together! mandy@lemonadeday.org

csoakley
csoakley

Note sent. Let's make this happen!!

Preston
Preston

Sounds like it's time to throw away that inhaler and start carrying around a plastic bear filled with this magical local honey. Excuse me while I head out to my pharmacist/beekeeper...

KP
KP

Such sophisticated recipes! And not a Country Time in the bunch. Well done, kids, and thanks for the story, Katharine. Great read.

Judge
Judge

well.. there was one country time. but I digress

Mandy/Lemonade Day
Mandy/Lemonade Day

Thanks Katharine for coming out, talking to all the kids ... and trying every single entry. I'm working on replicating that blood orange recipe ... if only she were selling her secrets like the other stand. Cheers!

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