CIVIC CENTER — Mayor Bill de Blasio trotted out his best one-liners on Thursday as he welcomed the lineup of competitive eating gladiators set to square off at Nathan's Famous annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest on Coney Island.
“Tomorrow, rain or shine, tens of thousands descend on Coney Island to ‘relish’ the great hot dog eating contest,” de Blasio said, drawing groans from those assembled at the official weigh-in ceremony at City Hall.
“It’s highly competitive. People train all year. Some might say it’s so competitive, it’s a ‘dog eat dog’ atmosphere,” the mayor pun-fully continued, before sampling a Nathan's frank. “I have great writers. I’ll be here all week.”
According to George Shea, a spokesman and carnival barker for Nathan’s, more than two dozen men and women will compete in Friday's hot dog eating contest at Coney Island.
Among those on hand at City Hall Thursday were Joey Chestnut, the official record holder at the Coney Island eat off who consumed 65 hot dogs in 10 minutes, and Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas, the reigning women’s champion on Coney Island who ate 45 franks in the same amount of time.
Chestnut and Thomas are expected to face fierce competition from the likes of world donut-eating champion Badlands Booker, world cranberry sauce-eating champion Juliet Lee and tiramisu-eating champion Tim “Eater X” Janus.
The women’s eating contest begins at 11:15 am on Friday, followed by the men’s at 12:30 pm, at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs located on Surf Avenue in Coney Island.