Nature is healing; fans to return to that Fourth of July Hot Dog stuffing mess

Fans are returning to the annual Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest in 2021.
Fans are returning to the annual Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest in 2021.
Image: Getty Images

What are your summer plans? Going to get back on a plane? Maybe catch a live game or concert? How about those restaurants you’ve been meaning to try? Or maybe you’re one of the thousands of folks who want to return to Coney Island for the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest?


Yes, the annual event has returned. And this year, fans are invited.

In a normal year, some 30,000 sweaty spectators flock to the boardwalk in the summer heat to watch eaters gorge themselves. Fun! But instead of chowing down on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, this year’s event will take place at Maimonides Park — home of the Brooklyn Cyclones. The minor league ballpark has a capacity of 7,000 for baseball games.

“It is encouraging to hold this event live for fans, who last year were unable to celebrate July 4 as they traditionally do,” James Walker, Senior Vice President of Restaurants at Nathan’s Famous, said in a statement.

Due to the pandemic, the 2020 fanless competition was moved indoors. But the indoor environment helped the top eaters in the men’s and women’s competition break records.

Thirteen-time dog eating champion, Joey Chestnut, ate 75 dogs and buns in 10 minutes — breaking a men’s world record. In the women’s competition, Miki Sudo ate 48.5 dogs and buns in 10 minutes — breaking the women’s world record. And just typing those words on an empty stomach makes me nauseous.

This year’s competition will begin with the women at 10:45 am EST (breakfast, yum!) followed by the men at noon.


If you’re one of the million TV viewers on ESPN, make sure you get your own food down beforehand. You don’t want to watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on an empty stomach, either.