On the women’s side, Miki Sudo again claimed her title, eating 48½ dogs and bun in 10 minutes making this her seventh straight victory.
The Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York went on indoors and out of public view to avoid social gathering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chestnut did say the air conditioned indoor temperatures of the second floor of the Coney Island Nathan’s building on Stillwell Avenue might possibly allow him to break his record, and he was right.
The contest featured a wide 30-foot-long table with only five competitors compared to the usual 15. Each contestant was separated by plexiglass and that same glass separated members of the media nearby. Some of the contenders including fan favorites such as big Eric “Badlabnds” Booker on the men’s side and Larell Marie Mele, from Long Pond PA.
Nathan’s donated 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City, and additional efforts were made this year to raise money and bring awareness to the needs of food banks world-wide.
All of the contenders were quarantined prior to the event to prevent any possible spread of the coronavirus.
George Shea, the MC of the event, was determined to put on the hot dog contest, but was forced indoors to comply with social distancing and gathering guidelines.
Even much of the media were unable to attend, the event kept secret to the last possible moment to keep crowds from gathering outside. Usually, the event is attended by thousands and they are normally entertained by dancers and singers.
“Hopefully next year, we will be back outdoors and bring back the contest to the Coney Island community,” Shea said.