What better way to celebrate America's freedom than by blowing things up and stuffing our faces full of processed meat and funfetti cupcakes? The pinnacle of competitive eating contests, Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest, is held every Independence Day on Coney Island, and today Mayor Bloomberg presided over the official weigh-in ceremony. Time for an awkward speech—he starts getting pun-indigestion around 2:30 and the s-bomb comes at 2:45!
Mayor Bloomberg at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Weigh-In from Gothamist on Vimeo.
While all of the contestants were presented, only two were officially weighed: the five-time hot dog-eating world champion Joey Chestnut and the women's record holder Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas. Chestnut, who clocked in at 210 pounds, is aiming to break his own world record of 68 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes, while Thomas, who weighs a mere 100 pounds, will seek to add to her already impressive collection of world records.
The weigh-in was followed by a pseudo-dramatic stare-down between Chestnut and Thomas, and the ceremony closed with Bloomberg eating a Nathan's hot dog himself (we suspect he may have preferred a BLT). Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Women's Championship will take place tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., followed by the Men's Championship at noon. If you can't make it to the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island to watch it in person, you can also watch competitors stuff food in the mouth holes live on ESPN3.