Even for those of you who have embraced the new edible insect fad, the idea of eating a cockroach raw is still nothing short of disgusting. Despite the vile and even dangerous act of eating raw cockroaches, some people are more than willing to do it if it means winning a free pass to an amusement park. Back in the fall of 2006, the popular theme park known as Six Flags Great America started a cockroach eating competition. The competition was meant to take place every year during the theme park’s “Fright-Fest” celebrations that occur every Halloween. Unfortunately for cockroach-eating enthusiasts, the competition was canceled in 2012 after a Florida man died in an unrelated cockroach-eating competition.


The decision to sponsor and organize cockroach-eating contests as a form of advertisement had been a matter of controversy ever since Six Flags started the competitions in 2006. According to the theme park’s spokesperson, the cockroaches were safe to consume because they had been raised solely for the purpose of being eaten by humans. The spokesperson also claimed that no participants in the roach-eating contests had fallen ill as a result of consuming the roaches. Despite these claims, the Lake County Health Department had warned participants about the dangers of eating raw cockroaches. These dangers include gastrointestinal issues and allergic reactions. Despite the warnings from medical professionals, the roach-eating contests continued for several years until a man taking part in a different roach-eating contest died as a result of the consumption. This man died after winning a roach-eating contest that had been organized by a pet store. The bad publicity concerning roach-eating contests caused Six Flags to discontinue their roach-eating competitions.


A year before Six Flags permanently discontinued their roach-eating contests due to the Florida man’s death, the contest had been brought back to Six Flags by “popular demand”. Winners of the contest could win a season pass to the park. The species of cockroach that participants had consumed during the past competitions were Madagascar hissing cockroaches, which are relatively large roaches. Hopefully, this dangerous event never returns to the theme park.


Would you be willing to take part in a roach-eating contest if it meant winning a season pass to six flags? Were you aware that eating raw cockroaches could cause serious health consequences?


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