Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Each year, the Nathan's International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest is held at the original Nathan's Famous Corporation's restaurant at Coney Island in Brooklyn. People flock to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues to watch people try to topple the previous year's contest winner.
This is no ordinary hot dog eating contest. You have to actually qualify by being 18 years old or older and fulfilling one of the other four conditions for competition. You either have to be the reigning champion, or have won a regional qualifying contest for the season in which you are competing. Or if you qualified as the season's wildcard (you had the highest average qualifier score but didn't win a single qualification session, or you were given a special invitation by IFOCE, you can participate. Maybe it's just best to be a spectator.
The rules don't stop there, though. There are rules about what constitutes an eaten hot dog (this is wiener and bun), rules about precise measurements and what constitutes too much HDB (hot dogs and buns) debris. These people are serious about this hot dog eating contest.
If you can eat the number of hot dogs needed to be declared the winner, and if your win meets all the rules and requirements, you certainly have a reason to be proud of yourself. You can remember that when you're suffering the stomach pains from overeating later, but it'll all be worth it.
While you're waiting for the contest to begin, enjoy the sights and sounds of Coney Island on July 4. You're sure to say that you've never spent a July 4th like the one you spent watching the Nathan's International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest and visiting historic Coney Island.