The 85th annual International Hot Dog Eating Contest will begin promptly at 12 Noon at Nathan's Famous Flagship Restaurant, 1310 Surf Avenue, corner Surf and Stillwell avenues, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
A total of 22 athletes will compete on a raised platform (24") along a 32-foot table facing media and fans. Media with credentials will have access to a 40-foot by 15-foot area directly in front of the competition table. A raised platform will be positioned 15 feet from the competition table for television cameras with tri-pods. No tri-pods will be allowed in the media area -- except for stations that are covering the event live.
A neat-eating contest for children under the age of 12 will be held at 11 am, providing young competitors the chance to display grace, manners and style. The bus of champions will arrive at 11:15 am and competitors will be ushered under the highest security in the bullpen. The speed eating competitors, who will be available following the contest for interviews, will be introduced individually beginning at 11:40 am.
National anthems will be played at 11:55 am and then the 12-minute all-you-can-eat contest will begin. During the contest cards will be held above the competitors to alert media and fans of the number of hot dogs and buns that have been eaten. Following the contest the winner will be presented with the trophy and the Coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt. A platter containing the winning number of dogs and buns will be placed in front of the champ, who will provide one-on-one interviews with any media.
The competition is open to all those 18 years or older. Competitors may eat their Nathan's hot dogs and buns in any style, with any condiments and any beverage. (Beverages are known as wash-down in the sport of competitive eating -- seltzer is known as 2 cents plain in Coney Island.)
Competitors may employ any eating style as long as all hot dog and bun are eaten. Any hot dog and bun in a competitor's mouth at the whistle counts toward the final tally if the competitor chews and swallows that portion of the foodstuff. Hot dog and buns are counted in fractions.
Dunking and crunching the hot dog and bun are allowed. Separating the hot dog and bun to eat them individually -- called Tokyo style -- is also allowed. However, competitors may be penalized if a stray hot dog or bun remains at the end of the contest.