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A 4th of July Tradition (For Better or Worse)

Mario Tama - Getty Images

Fireworks, BBQs, picnics, and patriotism, they’re all Independence Day traditions. So is one more thing…

The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. It’s taken place at the original Nathan’s location on Coney Island (officially) since 1972.

But it’s only been the last couple of years that it’s become a huge event, complete with major TV coverage.

There’s even an official body that oversees the event (and other competitive eating events), Major League Eating (I swear I am not making this up).

Yesterday, 28 year old Californian Joey Chestnut took home his 6th consecutive “Mustard Yellow Belt” and the $10,000 grand prize by downing 68 tube-steaks in 10 minutes.

A fun, silly event, or glorified gluttony? Either way, you have to admit that there are few things as uniquely American as rewarding someone for cramming frankfurters down their gullet.

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