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Roll Your R's to Earn Cash | Arts & Culture

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Roll Your R's to Earn Cash
Roll Your R's to Earn Cash

Simon Contreras has been teaching Spanish in Arlington for 26 years. He now teaches 4 Spanish classes at Wakefield High School and is head of the Foreign Language Department. Over 20 years ago he introduced something fun to the area: the Annual Spanish R Rolling Contest. This year marks the 22nd Annual Contest which will be held at Key Elementary School on Friday, March 18 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 

The contest first started when Contreras noticed that some of his students had trouble rolling their R's. "It started in my own classes and it went well and it was fun, so we decided to compete with other schools." Soon the contest spread to multiple schools, even in other states such as Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. "We have come a long way!" exclaimed Contreras. 

This contest is open to everyone and the winner will receive $400 in cash. The winner of the contest is the person who can roll the Spanish R for the longest time without taking a breath. There are 3 different categories: children, teens, and adults. Contreras, who is originally from Venezuela, said that teens tend to do the best, and the winner is usually a swimmer or someone who can hold their breath for an extremely long time. The current record is 42 seconds. You don't have to be able to speak Spanish (some Spanish speakers can't even roll their R's) to enter in the contest. Contreras said one tip he would give to participants is to make sure you drink plenty of water beforehand. 

The contest has been funded by the Arlington Federal Credit Union for the last 6 years. While the big winners of each category get a large cash prize, "No one leaves empty handed," said Contreras. He passes out rulers, pens, and other small prizes to all contenders. Registration is free, just contact Simon Contreras at 703-228-2800 X 98169 or email him at sr_contreras@yahoo.com. Key Elementary School is located at 2300 Key Boulevard in Arlington, VA near the Courthouse Metro Station.

 

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