New Yorkers hungry for live entertainment have reason to rejoice: The 2021 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest will take place in front of a live audience at Coney Island.
The American tradition, which was held for media only in a private location last year due to the pandemic, will kick off at 11 a.m. on July 4, according to a Major League Eating news release.
The annual contest will be held at Maimonides Park, not far from the Nathan’s Famous flagship restaurant on Surf and Stillwell avenues in Brooklyn.
“The Nathan’s Famous contest is the crown jewel of the Fourth of July and stands as a beacon of freedom for all those who believe in American exceptionalism,” George Shea of Major League Eating said in the news release.
Last year, competitive eating legend Joey Chestnut set another world record, consuming 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to retain his championship title.
“Joey Chestnut is a national treasure,” Shea said.
Miki Sudo took first prize last year in the women’s contest, breaking the women’s world record by eating 48.5 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
“It is encouraging to hold this event live for fans,” said James Walker, senior vice president Nathan’s Famous, in the news release. “Next year, we hope to return to the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, where we have held this event for decade after decade.”
In past years, as many as 30,000 fans have made the trip to Coney Island to witness the competitive eating event, which was first held in 1916, according to Major League Eating archives.
Tickets to the event will be distributed first-come, first served.
The official seating capacity at Maimonides Park is 7,500, however, the state’s current COVID-19 guidance limits capacity to 33%, a number Shea said “is expected to increase.”
Organizers said all COVID-19 health and safety regulations will be followed.