Brooklyn, New York
February 11, 2006
Ah, 4th of July in the Big Apple. Big crowds, excitement, anticipation, fireworks? Nope, I’m talking about Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.
Every year since 1916, 20 people have been lining up on July 4th at noon to eat as many hot dogs and buns as they can in 12 minutes. Regurgitation is an automatic dismissal, and a pitcher of water and condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut, are provided. Usually the condiments are ignored, but a current trend is to dunk the buns in the water to make them easier to digest.
Currently, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan holds the record of 53 1/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes. He is a legend in the “International Federation of Competitive Eating.” (Strange world, isn’t it? For more info. on these weird eating contests, scroll down.)
The “Mustard Yellow International Belt,” the Olympic medal of hot-dog eating, is currently in Japan with Kobayashi, and there are few who can come anywhere near him. The current American holder is Sonya Thomas, who ate 32 hot dogs. Like Kobayashi, she's tiny. Last year before the contest she weighed a mere 99 pounds, and after the contest, I believe she weighed 105 or 106 lbs.
It does get really crowded, so come early. It's fun and different for families, adults... really anyone. Rather camp out with millions of others during the day on the 4th of July just to get an okay seat for the fireworks hours later at night in New York? Sounds like fun. Go to Nathan’s instead.
P.S. ESPN films this every year and broadcasts it live, believe it or not.
Eating ContestsFor more information on competitive eating, go to www.ifoc.com.
They’ve recorded such feats as eating 10 pounds and 3 ounces of meatballs in 12 minutes, 67 hamburgers in 8 minutes, 8 pounds and 15 ounces of grapes in 10 minutes, and 32.5 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes.
Take the Q, F, or D to Coney Island.
From journal Take the B to Brighton Beach