Nathan’s hot dog food contest will be back to public on July 4

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) – The famous Nathan’s 2021 International Hot Dog Dining Competition will take place in front of a live audience at Coney Island on Sunday, July 4 starting at 11 a.m.

Last year, due to the pandemic, the contest was held for the media only in a private location.

The annual contest, an American holiday tradition, will be held at Maimonides Park (formerly MCU Park), home of the Brooklyn Cyclones and a short walk from Nathan’s Famous flagship restaurant on Surf and Stillwell avenues.

The free and paid event will follow all federal, state and municipal health and safety regulations.

Tickets for this year’s competition will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Doors will open at 10:00 a.m. and the event will begin at 10:45 a.m. with the introduction of the eaters. The women’s competition starts at 11:00 a.m., while the men’s competition starts at 12:30 p.m.

Last year, Joey Chestnut of Indianapolis, Indiana set a new world record, consuming 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to retain his championship title. Darron Breeden was second, Nick Wehry third, George Chiger fourth and Eric ‘Badlands’ Booker fifth.

In the women’s competition last year, Miki Sudo of Tampa, Fla. Broke the women’s world record and took first place, scoring her seventh consecutive victory eating 48.5 hot dogs and buns. Larell Marie Mele came in second, with 18 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Sudo will not be competing this year.

A total of 18 men and 10 women are expected to compete on July 4.

In a typical year, as many as 30,000 fans make the pilgrimage to Surf and Stillwell avenues to attend the event in person. The ESPN broadcast of the contest regularly draws an audience of millions of viewers.

An annual part of the event is Nathan’s Famous donation of 100,000 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs to the New York Food Bank.

“It is encouraging to hold this event live for the fans, who last year were unable to celebrate July 4th as they traditionally do,” said James Walker, senior vice president, Restaurants at Nathan’s Famous. “Next year, we hope to return to the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, where we have hosted this event for ten years after ten years.”

ESPN has exclusive live broadcast rights from 10:45 a.m. to the end of the event, scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

Coverage of the women’s competition will begin at 10:45 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. Coverage of the men’s competition will begin at 12 p.m. ET and will air live on ESPN.

According to Major League Eating records, Nathan’s famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Championship has been held every July 4th in Coney Island, New York, since 1916 when Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant. MLE, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, sanctions Nathan’s famous hot dog food tour and ensures that competitions are professionally judged and that safety standards are in place at every event.

For more information, email [email protected], or visit

MORE NEWS: New York’s beaches reopen despite wet start to holiday weekend

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About Douglas Mackenzie

Douglas Mackenzie

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