You know how the gourmet hot dog craze has hit Fort Worth, so that now you can get them with crazy toppings like cream cheese, poppy seeds, and Parmesan truffle fries? Yeah, this story has nothing to do with that. Instead, it’s about the qualifying round of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. On Saturday afternoon, people who are brave, foolhardy, or simply in possession of iron stomachs will gather at Six Flags to determine which two of them (one man and one woman) will advance to the annual worldwide contest on July 4 in Coney Island, N.Y.
If you can call competitive eating a sport, its contestants train with the devotion of athletes, using hypnosis and diets to stretch their stomach, as well as techniques like dunking the hot dog buns in water to facilitate swallowing as well as “chipmunking,” which we could explain in detail, but would you really want us to? If other sports offer up the grace and beauty of LeBron James hitting a contested jumper or Nikita Kucherov deking a goalie off his skates, this one gives you the chance for the most disgusting failures imaginable. In the city that’s home to the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers, you might be able to see the eater who will dethrone Joey Chestnut on Independence Day. Afterward, you can head straight to the Grossology exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History for perspective.
The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifying round is 1:30pm Sat at Six Flags Over Texas, 2201 E Rd to Six Flags, Arlington. Admission is free with price of park entry. Call 817-640-8900.