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Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Updated on April 17, 2011

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Image from 2008 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Joey Chestnut is the middle being declared the winner by event organizer George Shea. Walking away in the red hair is Takeru Kobayashi, six time winner of the contest.
Image from 2008 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Joey Chestnut is the middle being declared the winner by event organizer George Shea. Walking away in the red hair is Takeru Kobayashi, six time winner of the contest.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest - A 4th of July Tradition

The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is a competition for individuals that have strong stomaches and super human jaws. It is definitely a competition you will not see Adam Richman of Man V. Food try anytime soon but you never know.

The history of the competition started on July 4, 1916, the year the first Nathan's opened on New York's Coney Island. The flagship location of Nathan's is at Surf and Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. Twenty individuals competitors consume as many hot dogs as they can in ten minutes. The contest has been held every 4th of July except in 1941 due to protest of World War II and in 1971, due to civil unrest and hippie movement.

Rules for the event allow competitors to separate, dunk, mash, and mush their hot dogs. Competitor can dunk the hot dogs in their drink of choice, usually water or lemonade. Kobayashi uses the method of breaking the hot dogs in half and then eating the bun. Most competitors try consume as little as possible to drink. It varies from competitor to competitor there method to down the hot dogs.

The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest is sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) and Major League Eating. Yes, you are reading that correctly, there is a pro circuit for competitive eating. Some well-known competitors are Takeru Kobayashi from Japan (6 time Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Champion), Joey Chestnut from the United States (3 time and current Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Champion), and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas (the female record holder for the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest with 41 hot dogs consumed).

Over 40,000 fans will line the streets of Surf and Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island to see who takes the Mustard Belt. The event is televised by ESPN and sees rating of close to 1.5 million viewers. ESPN first televised the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2003 on tape-delay. Since 2004, the event has been televised live. Paul Page serves as the play-by-play announcer with Richard Shea as color commentator. Todd Harris is the sideline reporter for the competition.

Joey Chestnut besides being the defending champion also holds the world record for consuming 68 hot dogs in twelve minutes, which was set in the 2009 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

So, before you fire up the grill today, sit back and watch the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN. It is pretty amazing to see the men and women compete in this event. Joey Chestnut is a pretty solidly built guy. Kobayashi, who is not competing the 2010 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest weighs about 125 pounds but can put away the food. Even celebrities have competed in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest like William "The Refrigerator" Perry did in 2003.

The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is a fun tradition on the 4th of July. I have watched the event just about every year it has been on ESPN. Be sure to check the hub later for video from the 2010 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Hot Dogs and the 4th of July are definitely an American tradition and the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is a good kick off to enjoy the day. To everyone reading this hub, Happy 4th of July!!!

 

Footage of the 2010 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

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    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 7 years ago from The World (for now)

      I have always wanted to go to one of these things...

    • nifty@50 profile image

      nifty@50 7 years ago

      The 4th of July isn't complete without a hot dog eating contest and Nathan's is the Grand Daddy!

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