VALDOSTA — Time to eat some hot dogs.
Nathan’s Famous will host the Georgia qualifier for its annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, Wild Adventures Theme Park.
The top male and female finishers in the event will qualify for a seat at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, where they will face reigning champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo, organizers said.
Top-ranked competitive eaters in attendance will include No. 8-ranked Adrian Morgan of New Orleans and No. 28-ranked Brian Dudzinsky of Phoenixville, Penn., among a field of up to 13 competitors from across the nation.
“The launch of the Nathan’s Famous hot dog-eating contest circuit means that we are on our way toward the most exciting day of the year: July 4,” said Phil McCann, senior director of marketing of Nathan’s Famous. “We are seeking new talent in Valdosta to represent our nation on the most patriotic day of the year.”
“The Nathan’s hot dog-eating contest is a holiday celebration that is recognized across the globe,” said George Shea, Major League Eating chair. “There is no greater honor on July 4 than competing against the greatest eaters in the world on the big stage in Coney Island.”
Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., currently holds the title of hot dog-eating world champion after defeating rising star Carmen Cincotti and setting a new world record and Coney Island record of 74 hot dogs and buns in 2018, organizers said.
Sudo of Las Vegas will defend her title as female champion, having consumed 37 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes in 2018. Her all-time best is 41 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
In recent years, an estimated 35,000 fans have traveled to the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in person. The live telecast of the event has consistently attracted millions of viewers since ESPN first aired the contest in 2004.
According to legend, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest has occurred each July 4 in Coney Island, N.Y., since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the beloved restaurant.
MLE, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Circuit and ensures the contests are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event, organizers said.
People interested in competing in the Georgia qualifier should visit www.majorleagueeating.com to obtain information and register. All competitors must be older than 18 years of age.