An official qualifier for the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest will occur on River Street in Savannah at 1:00pm on April 6, 2013. This is the first time the storied Nathan’s Famous qualifying tour has visited the city of Savannah. The 12-city circuit began in March and will culminate with the ESPN-televised Hot Dog Eating Championship in Coney Island, NY, on July Fourth.
“The annual qualifying circuit enables us to bring a genuine taste of Coney Island to cities near and far. I am pleased we are visiting Savannah this summer,” said Wayne Norbitz, President and COO of Nathan’s Famous, Inc.
“Pretty Boy” Pete Davekos, a spinach-eating champion from Boston, and Micah “Wing Kong” Collins, a buffalo wing specialist from Philadelphia, are registered to compete at the River Street event, which is part of the Savannah Waterfront Association’s First Saturday on the River series. A number of local aspirants have signed up to do battle with ranked eaters from Major League Eating. Registration occurs at www.majorleagueeating.com, and all competitors must be 18 or older.
Savannah Riverfront First Friday & Saturday festivities kick-off on Friday, April 5 and continue on Saturday, April 6. DJ’s-to-Go will be playing music on the Arbor Stage and Rousakis Plaza will be full of artists, entertainment, and fun for the entire family. For more information, go to www.riverstreetsavannah.com.
The top-performing male and female hot dog eaters at the Savannah event will each earn a chance to compete on July 4, 2013 at the Nathan’s Famous flagship in Coney Island, NY. This year’s ESPN show will air on July 4th at 1pm Eastern.
In recent years, an estimated 40,000 fans have made the pilgrimage to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest in person. The ESPN telecast of the event drew an audience of over 1 million viewers in 2012.
Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA holds the world record for eating 68 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes, and he will seek his seventh straight title this year. Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, VA will defend her title as Female Champion. She consumed 45 Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes last year to set a new female record.
Host cities of the 2013 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit include Las Vegas, NV; Boston, MA; St. Paul, MN; Naples, FL; Miami, FL; Brooklyn, NY; Queens, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Calgary, Alberta; East Rutherford, NJ; and Atlanta, GA.
According to archives, the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant. Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, 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.