Fireworks are typically the cornerstone of Independence Day celebrations. But there are plenty of other activities and, specifically, sporting events going on while America spends the day celebrating its independence. For instance, last year marked the 100-year anniversary of the first hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island.
Competitive eating is not only a recognized sport, it turns out that it’s the most American sport of them all; while Americans have been celebrating Independence Day for more than a century, it’s still impressive that the Coney Island mega event began with four immigrants scarfing down as many hot dogs as possible to prove who was the most patriotic, according to the legend.
Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest
When: Independence Day at the corner of Surf and Stillwell, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
Details: As mentioned above, last year was the 100-year anniversary of the event and it didn’t disappoint. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut bested his rival Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie, who upset him in 2015, by eating a contest-record 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes. There’s also a women’s eating contest, which takes place before the men eat. Miki Sudo beat Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas in the women’s competition in 2016 by downing 38 ½ hot dogs and buns. If you want to snag a good spot to watch the festivities, be sure to get there early, because it will get quite crowded by the time the eating begins.
More info: Visit http://nathansfamous.com/promos-and-fanfare/hot-dog-eating-contest/.
When: 4th of July, 7:00 pm at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton
Details: The Thunder square off against the Reading Fightin Phils – the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate – in a showdown that pits the two best teams in the Eastern League against one another. (The Thunder are in first place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League at 48-26 and Reading is in second at 42-29.) Since it is the 4th of July, the Thunder will have post-game fireworks. It’s also dollar dog night at the ballpark, so you can pay tribute to the winners of the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating contest by buying a regular size hot dog for just $1. Lastly, kids 12 and under at the game will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, popcorn and a bottle of water that can be redeemed at either main food court.
More info: Visit www.trentonthunder.com.
Sussex County Miners
When: 4th of July, 6:05 pm at Skylands Stadium in Augusta
Details: The Sussex County Miners, the most recent member of New Jersey’s pro baseball field, will host the Trois-Rivières Aigles at Skylands Stadium on the 4th. The Miners offer plenty of deals for fans on the holiday, such as a group sale price at the box window and 10 percent off at the company store. In addition, there will be fireworks and a special giveaway at the game.
More info: Visit http://sussexcountyminers.com/.
New York Yankees
When: Independence Day, 1:05 pm at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx
Details: If you’re looking to soak in some day ball on the 4th, head to the Bronx to watch the Yankees take on the Blue Jays. The Yankees are having a great season so far and sit in first place in the American League at 40-33 (as of June 25). Rookie Aaron Judge has put himself as one of the top sluggers in the game in his first full year with the big league club. He leads the Majors in homers with 26, something few Yankees fans would’ve guessed before the start of the season.
More info: Visit www.mlb.com/yankees.
When: 4th of July, 4:05 pm at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
Details: The Phillies meet the Pittsburgh Pirates on Independence Day during the Salute to the Veterans Celebration at Citizens Bank Park. The first 1,000 fans who purchase a promotion the Phillies are offering will receive a coupon for an exclusive camo hat giveaway. For the 2017 season, all MLB teams wear Special Event uniforms to celebrate four selected holidays: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. Be on the lookout for stars and stripes as part of this year’s 4th of July uniform.
More info: Visit www.mlb.com/phillies.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © gustavofrazao / Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
Nathan’s Famous / Website
Trenton Thunder / Website
Sussex County Miners / Website
Sports Logos / Website