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Qualify now for July 4 hot dog-eating competition

(June 27, 2014)  There is only one week left to qualify for Fish Tales Bar & Grill’s seventh annual Independence Day “Top Dog” hot dog-eating contest.

Anyone 18 and older who is interested in competing in the July 4 event may stop by the 22nd Street bayside bar and restaurant at anytime during the day to speedily consume five deli-style hot dogs and buns. A Fish Tales representative will time each participant, and the 20 people with the fastest times will move on to the finals, scheduled to take place Friday, July 4, at 2 p.m.

The cost to take part in the qualifier is $5, which will go toward the prize money pot.

“I would love to see a local [dethrone] the previous ‘top dogs,’” said Brandon Hemp, Fish Tales manager and contest coordinator.

A stage will be assembled in the parking lot of Fish Tales for the competitive eaters who advance to the July 4 main event, which is modeled after Nathan’s famous Fourth of July international contest. Fish Tales and Coors Light are sponsoring the event. Dietz & Watson will supply the hot dogs.

Spectators of Fish Tales’ competition will be able to watch the 10-minute gorge fest from bleachers set up in front of the stage. Hot dogs will be sold during the event.

DJ BK will emcee the competition again this year.

The “Top Dog” will win $1,000 and a trophy. Cash prizes will also be awarded to the second- and third-place finishers.

The 2012 winner, Jamie McDonald of Connecticut, was crowned the champion again in 2013, devouring 36 hot dogs. He won a trophy and $1,000. Connecticut resident Joe Menchetti ate 22.5 hot dogs and finished in second place. He was awarded $500. Nick Rivers of Laurel, Md., downed 19.5 hot dogs and buns last year, good for third place and $250.

For more information about the contest, call Fish Tales at 410-289-0990 or visit www.ocfishtales.com.

Seventeen contestants competed in Fish Tales’ sixth annual hot dog-eating contest on July 4. A stage for competitors and bleachers for spectators were set up in the parking lot of the 22nd Street bayside restaurant last year.

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