Glorious Gluttony! Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship This Weekend

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Last year's Nathan's Famous hot dog eating championship. (Photo: Nathan's Famous / Facebook)

Last year’s Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating championship. (Photo: Nathan’s Famous / Facebook)

Grab those wieners and buns! Also, hot dogs and bread.

This weekend we celebrate our nation’s independence — and what better way to recognize those hard-won freedoms than watching a group of gluttons cram their faces with franks during the most well-known competitive eating contest?

Nathan’s Famous holds its annual hot dog eating championship July 4 in Coney Island. The contest, now in its 44th year, is expected to draw thousands to the flagship restaurant at the corner of Stillwell and Surf avenues.

The event takes place from 10am – 1pm and pits 20 competitors — 10 men and 10 women — against each other for the title of America’s best hot dog chow-hound. However, the two eaters most under the microscope are Joey Chestnut, the eight-time champ and world record holder, and defending champ Matt Stonie.

The competitors have been preparing all year for the championship. Chestnut has dropped 25 pounds since January and had blood work done to keep tabs on his health. Meanwhile, Stonie had been studying nutrition to get a better understanding of his body, am New York reports.

The contestants will need every edge they can get. Winners often even eat more than 60 hot dogs to claim the title.

The contest takes place against the backdrop of Nathan’s 100th Anniversary, which kicked off on Memorial Day weekend with nickel hot dogs. There are also going to be other Fourth of July celebrations taking place in the People’s Playground, including a fireworks show at 9:30pm.

Here are a couple helpful things to know if you’re planning to make the check out the contest this year:

Off-street parking is available in the parking lot at MCU Park. Enter at Surf Avenue and West 19th Street.

Here is the schedule for the contest:

10am – Live from Coney Island
10:45am – Introduction of Female Contestants
11am – Women’s Contest
12pm – Main Event
12:30pm – Introduction of Male Contestants
12:40pm – Men’s Contest Begins
12:55pm – Trophy Presentation

Enjoy the show and happy holidays!

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