It's almost July 4, and now's the perfect time to get those plans in order for the patriotic holiday. Whether it's a barbecue in the agenda book, a trip to the beach, or figuring out how to watch the Coney Island hot dog eating contest, Independence Day is a day to enjoy. It is, after all, the 100-year anniversary of the Nathan's Famous hot dog stand in Coney Island, so prepare for double the celebration. For those who are interested in seeing the hot dog consumption extravaganza, here are the easiest ways to get to it.
For the hardcore (and those in the area who wish to visit the holy land of hot dogs), Nathan's holds the actual event in Coney Island, New York, at the corner of Surf and Stillwell. Thousands will attend, especially since it is the company's anniversary, so prepare for large, enthusiastic crowds. The exact location is 1310 Surf Avenue in Brooklyn, so park at the parking lot at MCU Park, enter at Surf Avenue and West 19th Street, or on the street.
Alternately, visitors to the Nathan's site can take the subway into Brooklyn (yes, Coney Island is a part of Brooklyn) on the D, F, N, or Q lines to the Stillwell Avenue Station stop. A third option is the express bus: the X28 (Bensonhurst/Midtown) or the X38 (Bensonhurst/Midtown) can get you there.
I acknowledge, though, not every person is willing to travel into New York City to see people devour hot dogs. I am of this camp, but I can almost guarantee that some sadistic friend will flip to the hot dog-eating channel at some point during the day. The main event airs at noon ET on ESPN3, though the actual event live from Coney Island begins at 10 a.m. For those who wish to watch the women's contest live, tune in at 10:50 a.m. ET to ESPN3. At 3:00 p.m., the station airing the contest moves from ESPN3 to ESPN. At 5 and 7 p.m., ESPN2 airs the contest.
A live stream of the events will air on ESPN.go.com, on this page, for anyone dying to see this event, but with no available cable or television access.
When viewing, expect to see and hear some key components of this tournament: straw boater hats, the booming voices of auctioneers, pieces of hot dog spewing across the lens of the camera, and some serious Independence Day crowd madness. Have a happy July 4, whatever it brings!