What could be more American than competitive gluttony? This Independence Day, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest returns for its 41st year to the tube-steak purveyor’s original location on Coney Island. Last year’s champion, Joey Chestnut, will attempt to beat his own record of 69 hot dogs and buns (HDBs) devoured in a mere 10 minutes. The deceptively diminutive Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas, victor for three years running in the women’s contest, will try to hold on to her belt as well. This questionably athletic event—it’s broadcast by ESPN—has generated considerable suspense and controversy in recent years. Come see if any of the contestants suffer a “reversal of fortune” (read: regurgitation) or if past champ Takeru Kobayashi attempts to storm the stage again, as he did in 2010. Afterward, head to the beach for Salsa Salsa & Friends’ annual, all-day party, and dance away the hot dog calories.

Fri., July 4, noon, 2014