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Celebrate the 4th at world's first bunless hot dog eating contest

Hot dog
Hot dog
Public Domain

For frankfurter fanatics who don’t relish trudging out to Coney Island for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th (or the are concerned about Arthur’s wet impact on the festivities) there will be a precedent-setting alternative in the heart of Manhattan (with an indoor location option) at 230 FIFTH, which will stage the world’s first official "naked" (read: bunless) hot dog eating contest.

The event will be headlined by two of the biggest names in the competitive eating game – Takeru Kobayashi and Patrick Bertoletti. It’s the first time two such fast-feeding heavyweights will go up against each other since Kobayashi’s last appearance at the Nathan’s (with buns) contest 2009.

Kobayashi, Bertoletti and other four eating champ contestants are declaring independence from the bun this 4th because they feel the bread muddles results and promotes cheating. It is anticipated that speed-eating the dogs alone will increase consumption to nearly 100 in ten minutes, approximately 44% faster than the current record with bun (69).

“We, as a group, want to see what it feels like and looks like without the bun,” enthuses Kobayashi, the six-time winner of the annual Nathan’s contest and the first competitive eating superstar. “It will change the tenor of the competition completely and focus the attention on what it should be … the number of actual hot dogs, which by definition are the cooked meat sausage component, that can be eaten in 10 minutes. And it’s exciting to do something that has never been done before.”

The field of contestants for the bunless event will be one of the strongest in recent memory. Kobayashi, credited with elevating competitive eating from a country fair tradition to an internationally recognized sport with his record-shattering showings, holds more than 20 eating records including six Guinness titles, while Bertoletti has 39, the most of any athlete in the history of the sport and is ranked the world’s No. 2 eater.

The event will be free and open to the public. It will start at at 1 p.m. on July 4. Doors will open at 10 a.m. with beverage service. Food (including hot dogs with buns!) service will begin at noon.

230 FIFTH, 230 fifth Avenue at the corner of 27th Street.