With the Fourth of July just days away, the land of the free has many yearly traditions to uphold. Cookouts, fireworks, lawn games, and Major League Baseball come to mind. But perhaps the most uniquely American ritual – which drives cable ratings annually and now devours Independence Day sports betting – is the Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Competition.
The annual eating contest, which has been an official Fourth of July tradition since the 1970s, has unofficially been a Coney Island staple for over 100 years. The world champion of wiener-wolfing has been crowned exclusively at Nathan’s iconic original restaurant (with the exception of pandemic years 2020 and 2021), located at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood.