Now that Memorial Day weekend is behind us, let us focus on the Fourth of July—what we consider to be the very real kickoff to summer. After taking place at a private location with no fans in attendance last year, Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog-Eating Contest is coming back to Brooklyn this July and we couldn't be more excited about it.
Usually happening right outside Nathan's flagship store in Coney Island, on the corner of Surfer and Stillwell Avenues, this year's shindig—the 106th installment of the beloved event—will actually relocate a block away, at Maimonides Park. Organizers hope to return to the event's original location starting next year.
"The Nathan’s Famous contest is the crown jewel of the Fourth of July and stands as a beacon for freedom for all those who believe in American exceptionalism," said host George Shea during an official announcement this weekend.
Last year, 13-time winner Joey Chestnut kept his title after devouring 75 hot dogs (with buns!) in only 10 minutes—a world record. We're feeling woozy just thinking about it and wonder if he's going to hold on to the famous mustard yellow championship belt for the sixth year in a row in a couple of weeks.
Miko Sudo, on the other hand, broke the women's world record last summer and won her seventh consecutive title by eating 48-and-a-half hot dogs with buns. Given her current pregnancy, she's actually not going to participate in this year's festivities.
The event clearly signals a return to normalcy following over a year of uncertainty across the city. One of the most anticipated happenings of the summer season, the contest has been going on since July 4, 1916, when Nathan Handwerker opened his first hot dog restaurant. In years past, over 30,000 folks flocked to Coney Island to witness the culinary battle. Clearly, New Yorkers love to watch other New Yorkers stuff their faces with wieners.
This year, the event is completely free to attend but you're going to have to get your hands on a ticket first. Seats will also be given out on a first come, first served basis and local and federal safety guidelines will be followed. Doors will open at 10am and the women's competition will kick off at 11am, followed by the men at 12:30pm. To guarantee yourself entry, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MajorLeagueEating.com.