For the 12th straight year the region’s finest competitive eaters will converge at New York-New York Hotel & Casino for the highly anticipated Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Championship. The contest will be held Thursday, May 7 at 3 p.m. on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York. A special employee contest as well as “Heroes” competition for charity are scheduled for 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The main event is an official qualifying round of the Nathan’s Famous worldwide hot dog eating circuit. The winner will earn the right to represent the United States in the 93rd Annual Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest Saturday, July 4 in Coney Island, N.Y. Interested competitors must be 18 years of age or older and must pre-register by visiting www.nathansfamous.com.
“It’s true that a few big names will be on hand to compete in this event, but I know first hand that Nevada residents are equipped with the horse sense and capacity to achieve great things,” said Richard Shea, president of Major League Eating. “There’s a strong likelihood we’ll witness a huge upset in Las Vegas.”
Two-time defending champion Joey Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif., is scheduled to return to Coney Island as he goes for his third consecutive title. In 2008, he devoured 59 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in the 12-minute contest but needed an additional 50 seconds in overtime to defeat long-time nemesis and former champion Takeru Kobayashi. In 2007, Chestnut won the July 4 contest, ending Kobayashi’s six-year reign, as he downed a world record 66 hot dogs and buns. Prior to Chestnut’s victory, from 2000 to 2006 the event was won by either Kobayashi or another Japanese competitor.
The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held each year on July 4 since 1916. In addition to Las Vegas, regional qualifying competitions are taking place in 14 U.S. cities including San Francisco, Boston, Tampa, Biloxi, Miss. and Norfolk, Va. The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest is sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) and Major League Eating, the governing bodies of stomach-centric sport worldwide.