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Despite COVID-19, annual Hot Dog Eating Contest to commence July 4

Despite COVID-19, annual Hot Dog Eating Contest to commence July 4
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 18:04:16-04

The gluttony known as the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest will go on this Saturday, but like many events being held this year, will not feature a live audience.

While the event will be held at a private location in NYC, it’s unclear if all of the competitors will be able to make it.

Last week, New York began requiring visitors from states with large numbers of COVID-19 cases to self-quarantine for 14 days.

For perennial champion Joey Chestnut, he was fortunate to arrive in NYC in time not to be required to quarantine. Chestnut is coming into the 2020 competition after consuming 71 hot dogs in 10 minutes during the 2019 event. His 2019 performance was just shy of his record of 74 hot dogs set in 2018.

“I arrived to NYC early because of risk of visitors to NY needing quarantine, my last practices were scrapped. Staying positive and focused on the 4th,” Chestnut said.

The competition will air live on ESPN starting at noon on Saturday.

“We’re ecstatic to make the announcement that the Hot Dog-Eating Contest will take place this year,” states James Walker, Nathan’s Famous Senior Vice President, Restaurants. “2020 has been a year for the history books, and the realization that this storied July 4th tradition would be able to occur, is a great feeling. With that being said, our country and our world has endured so much in the last couple of months, that we’d be remiss if we didn’t use this moment to honor those that have done so much for each of us during this time.”