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Extreme Foods

Nathan’s Famous celebrates 44th annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest

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Joey Chestnut, left, and Matt Stonie face off in Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest men's competition, July 4, 2015. (AP File Photo)

Every Fourth of July, Americans enjoy an estimated 150 million hot dogs, enough wieners to span from D.C. to L.A. -- over five times.

While most people are able to put down just one or two—well, maybe, three—there are those among us who consume well over their fair share.

Monday marks the 44th anniversary of Nathan’s Famous annual hot dog eating championship in Coney Island. The event draws thousands of curious onlookers to the flagship restaurant at the corner of Stillwell and Surf avenues in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The event, which starts at 10:00 a.m., pits 20 competitors — 10 men and 10 women — against each other for the title of America’s top dog.

Placing bets?

This year, Joey Chestnut, the eight-time champ and world record holder (he set the record in 2013 when he polished off 69 dogs in 10 minutes), faces off against defending champ Matt Stonie, one of the world’s most famous competitive eaters. Last year Stonie put away 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Things have come a long way since the winner of the first contest in 1972 only had to eat 14 hot dogs and buns down in 12 minutes. 

The contest takes place against the backdrop of Nathan’s 100th Anniversary, which kicked off on Memorial Day weekend with nickel hot dogs at the flagship store. There are other Fourth of July celebrations taking place in the People’s Playground, including a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

If you’re planning to head out to Coney Island to celebrate with some extreme wiener eaters this July 4, here’s a full schedule of the day’s events:

10:00 a.m. – Live from Coney Island
10:45 a.m. – Introduction of Female Contestants
11:00 a.m. – Women’s Contest
12 noon – Main Event
12:30 p.m. – Introduction of Male Contestants
12:40 p.m. – Men’s Contest Begins
12:55 p.m. – Trophy Presentation