Each Fourth of July a group of 20 steely-eyed individuals line up behind a 30-foot table at Nathan's flagship restaurant on Surf Avenue in Coney Island to begin the world hot dog eating championship. At 12 Noon, crushed by fans and media, the competitors begin the historic 12-minute contest.
According to archives, the Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in 1916, the year Nathan's opened on Surf Avenue. The contest has been held each year since then, except in 1941, when it was canceled as a protest to the war in Europe, and in 1971, when it was canceled as a protest to civil unrest and the reign of free love.
Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is located in the Coney Island neighborhood of Manhattan. Almost a century before the boardwalk opened along the Atlantic Ocean, Coney Island was on its way to becoming the nation’s most popular pleasure ground. In 1824, the Coney Island House was established as a seaside resort, and within a few decades it was attracting a steady stream of visitors, including celebrities. At the turn of the century, amusement parks—Sea Lion Park, Steeplechase Park, Luna Park, and Dreamland—offered rides, concessions and entertainment on a spectacular scale. Today, Coney Island continues to reinvent itself with new businesses flocking to the always-developing hotspot. Most notable is the renovated and reopened Luna Park, which operated from 1903 to 1944 before closing, only to reopen to much fanfare and local excitement in 2010. Other historic attractions include Deno's Wonder Wheel, an unconventional, "eccentric" Ferris wheel; and the Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster so synonymous with Coney Island that it was declared a New York City landmark in 1988 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places three years later. The Cyclone is so famous, in fact, that the Mets' minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, take their name from the historic ride. The Cyclones—one of the New York Mets' minor league teams—play their games at MCU Park, located along the Coney Island boardwalk. On the far end of the boardwalk's main stretch, families enjoy the New York Aquarium, with its thousands of marine creatures, including beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins, and stingrays, and exhibitions like the Sea Cliffs, a 300-foot-long recreation of the rocky Pacific Coast.
There are no events taking place on this date.