A Fourth of July Tradition

A Fourth of July Tradition

Each July 4, around 35,000 fans visit Coney Island to witness the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest. If they can’t see it in person, millions are watching the contest on TV.

Seventy-six hot dogs in 10 minutes. That is the current world record held by World Champion Joey Chesnut. Chesnut is a 14-time champion. The 2021 female champion was Michelle Lesco, who consumed 30.75 hot dogs in 10 minutes. This year’s event should be interesting to watch because Lesco will have a competition from female Miki Sudo, who is back from maternity leave. Sudo ate 48.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes the last time she competed.

How did the hot dog become America’s staple 4th of July food? In 1916, Nathan Handwerker (hence Nathan’s Famous) opened a hot dog stand on Coney Island. Nathan selling his hot dogs for 5 cents per dog resulted in instant success, especially during the Great Depression.

The hot dog grew more popular and is now a crowd favorite at backyard cook outs, pool parties, sporting events and more. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimate that 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July. Another fun fact is that National Hot Dog Day is July 20!

Whether you have a hot dog on your plate at the family cook out or watch the hot dog eating contest, we hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July, and don’t forget to “relish” the day.