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America’s Most Disgusting July 4th Tradition

Hot Dog Eating Competition

America hasn’t always been the land of the free. The founders of the United States fought tirelessly for years to free themselves from Great Britain, and the Fourth of July is when we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document that marked the separation of the 13 American colonies from the British Empire.

What better way to celebrate that historical event than by watching people stuff their faces as quickly as possible with compressed meat trimmings and fat?

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It seems like most sane people agree that the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is vile. And yet it continues to exist. Why? Because people are often vile, too.

“The hot-dog contest is a physical manifestation of the concept of freedom,” competition organizer George Shea told Politico. “The contest has come to represent the spirit of July 4th itself. That is why people go to the event. It is kind of a pilgrimage to the center of July 4th and the center of freedom.”

I just vomited.

Politico’s deep dive into the competition is a solid read, and you’ll find it linked in our source section below.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.