Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Education & Schools
  3. Homeschooling

History of Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest

See also

The 4th of July is the anniversary of America’s independence from England. Celebrated as Independence Day, the holiday has increasingly become a celebration of freedom and summer in general. Barbeques, fireworks and visits to the pool and the beach are presently the staple activities of the fourth day in July…except if you happen to live in or near Coney Island.

More Photos

Residents of Coney Island, a historic seaside neighborhood in Brooklyn that is regaled for its legendary boardwalk and amusement parks, considers “Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest” to be the single most traditional and iconic tradition of July 4th. Taking place every Independence Day, Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest is now a widely televised spectacle that delights audiences near and far every year. In fact, the event has grown so extremely popular that people from other countries log online (especially to video sights like YouTube) to watch it!

“Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest” is an event held by “Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs,” a historic restaurant in Coney Island. “Nathan’s Famous” started out as a nickel hot dog stand in 1916. It was owned and operated by a Polish immigrant named Nathan Handwerker. Today, “Nathan’s Famous” is a world famous brand with eateries all across the globe. However, it arguably most well-known for the hot dog eating contest that takes place at the original Coney Island location every July.

The hot dog eating contest was started as a tradition around 1972. For the first few years it was a purely local event and little known outside the Coney Island enclave. However, in the 1990s television stations started filming the event and broadcasting it nationally—garnering fans and viewers from across the country. The invention of the Internet soon turned the event into an intentional phenomenon and today it is a crowd-drawing spectacle. Winners of the contest regularly eat between 40 and 50 hotdogs in a 10 minute span as crowds cheer them on.

As quirky and unusual as this event is, it blends in well with the history of Coney Island and the lighthearted feel of summer. Even if you can’t get to Coney Island in person, this event is certainly worth Googling.

Advertisement

Life

  • Randy Travis
    Randy Travis returns with 'Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am' in August
    Today's Buzz
  • Alternative medicine
    Alternative medicine: Remedies to make the bugs in your body go away for good
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Back to school
    These 10 items are sure winners on your back-to-school shopping trip
    Camera
    12 Photos
  • Izabel Goulart
    Izabel Goulart walks the runway with Studio F at Colombia Moda
    Camera
    19 Photos
  • Ombre' technique
    Go for the gusto: What ombre' technique are you?
    Camera
    5 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Saving money on college expenses
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517349205" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517349205&autoStart=true"></div>
  • 'Life Inside Out' film coming to festivals in July
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4VQiPrw-T4c?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • World Cup : USA Team
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518179778" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518179778&autoStart=true"></div>