Independence Day in these fair states of ours, like all major holidays, has a hearty eating component. Most of use will enjoy some sort of grilled fare, perhaps a slice of watermelon or an ice cream cone, knock back some frosty brews and terrifyingly saccharine popsicles while we watch the fireworks. But a select few will gather at Coney Island to watch a pantheon of highly skilled, highly stomached competitors scarf down as many hot dogs as they possibly can in Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest.
If you don’t have the guts for that level of challenge, but you’d still like to try your, um, teeth at competitive eating, there are some options to start training for next year.
Hot Dog Eating Madness
Legends of the competitive eating scene Takeru Kobayashi (the current World Record holder for number of hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes) and Tim “Gravy” Brown are among the attendants for this hot dog chowdown insanity. The scarfing begins at 1:00 on July 4, and admission is free. (230 Fifth, 27th Street and 5th Avenue, Midtown)
Pie Eating Contest
Long Island City bar and restaurant The Creek and the Cave is holding their first annual pie night. For Five dollars and a contribution of two pies, one for the judges and one for the crowd, you can enter the pie-stravaganza. And after the bake-off comes the eat-off. So grab your forks and stomach and head to Queens. (The Creek and the Cave, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City)
Cereal Eating Contest
July 5th is Seinfeld tribute night for the Brooklyn Cyclones, which includes an Elaine Dancing competition and, yes, a cereal eating contest. The goal: Finish a bowl of cereal and milk in the quickest time. Yadda, yadda, yadda. You know the drill. (MCU Park, 1904 Surf Ave, Coney Island)
Pizza Eating Contest
If you’re out on Long Island for the long weekend, you can always swing by the July 5th pizza eating competition at Joe’s Pizza in Holbrook, New York. It’s a family-themed event, despite all that furious mozzarella chomping–there will also be a balloon artist and a Ninja Turtle in attendance (Joe’s Pizza, 346 Union Avenue, Holbrook, NY)
Watermelon Eating Contest
If you’re spending your holiday recreating scenes from Jersey Shore (look, we don’t judge here) you can always swing by Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey to try your luck at their annual watermelon eating contest. Bonus: You can then go directly to their Blazin’ Hot Wings competition! And then, probably, the hospital. (Monmouth Park, Oceanport, NJ)