Patriotic Promotional Products Celebrate July 4th and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Trending Topic Tuesday,” where we share our take on what’s going on in the world and what promotional products would appropriately (or inappropriately) market the subject matter.

Yesterday, Americans throughout the country celebrated Independence Day with cookouts, parades, and, of course, fireworks. One particular citizen however, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, added consuming sixty-two hotdogs in ten minutes to his July 4th to-do list. Chestnut and his opponents spent the day competing in the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held in Coney Island.

This marks the 96th year of the competition, which supposedly originated when four immigrants eating at Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island conducted a competition to define who was indeed the most patriotic. While the contest has been held in the same location nearly every year since its inception, the rules for qualifying have changed over time. At first, minors were permitted to enter the competition but now only those 18 and older are able to compete. Additionally, only those under contract by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which has sanctioned the event since 1997, are allowed to participate. Contestants must also be granted approval to compete by succeeding in qualifying competitions prior to the July 4th main event.

To prepare, participants rely on various training methods such as fasting, liquid-only diets, and even meditation. On the actual day of the event a number of interesting techniques are used to gain a competitive edge. Contestants rely on “Dunking,” for example, where the hot dog and bun are submerged in liquid before consumption so as to help the food slide easily down the throat. Jumping up and down, moving from side to side and throwing the food behind you while eating are also among the list of popular tricks employed.

Last year, over 40,000 attendees with patriotic promotional products in tow as well as over one and a half million television viewers tuned in to show their support as Chestnut won his fourth straight title. This year, both Chestnut and the women’s division’s Sonya Thomas earned the winning title and went home with a trophy belt, cash prizes, and, most importantly, bragging rights.

Kim M.
Creative Writing Intern
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