The QC Scene: Nathan's Famous Regional Qualifier in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nathan's Famous has announced that the official 2014 qualifying tour for the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating contest will stop in Charlotte for the first time. The official qualifying event, which is part of more than a dozen contests in cities across the United States, will take place at the Speed Street 600 Festival at 6 p.m. this Saturday.
World Champion Joey Chestnut will be on hand to oversee the 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contesst on the Coca-Cola Main Stage. The event will feature top-ranked eaters, including a hometown favorite, Army Specialist Ronnie Hartman, as well as world sweet corn-eating champion Crazy Legs Conti and chicken wing and hamburger eating veteran Damien Boykin. This is the first time the qualifying tour has taken place at the Speed Street 600 Festival, or in North Carolina.
The top male and top female finishers will earn a spot to compete in the finals at the original Nathan's Famous in Brooklyn, NY. In recent years, an estimated 35,000 fans have traveled to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island on July 4 to watch the contest in person.
I was able to catch up with homegrown competitor Ronnie Hartman to discuss his preparations for the regional qualifier as well as his future goals once he leaves service.