The History of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

World hot-dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut is coming to the area to chomp away the competition once again

It’s a name known around the dinner table but better to be talked about after dinner. 

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, world champion competitive eater and 11-time champion of the annual Fourth of July Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, will be putting his chomps to a potentially tougher and even “wurst” challenge. He will appear at the 43rd annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati on Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Braxton Fass Bar in downtown Cincinnati. 

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For this eating challenge, competitors will have 10 minutes to consume as many bratwurst as they can, hoping to earn the title of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati World Bratwurst-Eating Champion. 

Joey Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif., defending champion of the Nathan's Famous July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest, closes in on the world record during Coney Island's annual hot dog eating contest Saturday, July 4, 2009, in New York. Chestnut fought off Takeru Kobayashi, of Nagano, Japan to win his third consecutive win with a world-record 68 franks. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Photo: Craig Ruttle/AP

"Bratwurst is among the most demanding disciplines on the competitive eating calendar, requiring a combination of jaw strength, hand speed and stomach capacity," said George Shea, Chair of Major League Eating. "The finest eaters in the world will gather in Cincinnati to prove their skill in pursuit of the World Brat-Eating Championship title.”

One competitor hoping to best Chestnut is Vandalia’s own, Derek Jacobs, who placed 12th alongside Chestnut at this year’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

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Reigning champion Joey Chestnut eats two hot dogs at a time during the men's competition of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in New York's Coney Island. The defending champion broke his own world record by eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP

This won’t be Chestnut’s first bite from Cincinnati. This year’s Oktoberfest competition will be his attempt to snag a ninth title, as last year he ate 49 brats in 10 minutes for the win. Oktoberfest organizers expect Chestnut to defend his crown again this year.

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Chestnut will face fierce competition from a number of top-ranked Major League eaters. Scheduled to compete in the event are #5-ranked Darron Breeden from Orange, VA, #18-ranked George Chiger, #19-ranked Derek Jacobs from Vandalia, OH, #21-ranked Matt Hazzard from Normal, IL, #36-ranked Darrien Thomas from Orillia, ON and #38-ranked Matthew Raible from Peoria, IL,” according to an Oktoberfest press release.

About Oktoberfest Zinzinnati:

“America’s Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, is produced by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and presented by Amazon and Sam Adams. The 2018 event is Sept. 21-23 on Second and Third streets, between Walnut and Elm Streets in downtown. Zinzinnati. The celebration showcases the Zinzinnati region’s rich German heritage, as well as German-style music, food and beer. First held in 1976, the event has grown to be America's largest Oktoberfest with more than 650,000 people attending each year.”


WHAT: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati Bratwurst-Eating Contest

WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, September 23rd

WHERE: Braxton Fass Bar, the corner of 3rd Street & Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati


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