Although Tucson has an unwavering love of hot dogs year round, it is officially hot dog season with baseball in full swing and summer barbecues heating up. That means it's the perfect time to test your love of the dog and see just how many you can competitively cram into your craw in the span of ten minutes. At least, that's the thinking behind the second annual 4th Avenue Delicatessen Hot Dog Shoot-Out.
Last year, Dustin Cox managed to eat 12 hot dogs in ten minutes at the event's inaugural competition. However, this year the competition will likely be a lot stiffer as the event organizers are offering a $500 prize to whomever can chow down the most dogs.
Owner Austin Counts says the event will serve to create buzz around Fourth Avenue during the dreaded summer slow down that many local businesses feel.
"Tucson is a hot dog loving city and I felt this city I love needed a hot dog eating competition," Counts says. " Also, anyone who works in the Fourth Avenue and downtown area knows how slow it can get during the summer months. This competition is a good way to help promote the establishments that host this event, as well our local sponsors and area as a whole."
The qualifying events for the final competition will be held at The Flycatcher on Friday, June 12 and Che’s Lounge Saturday, June 20 with both rounds running from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Each event will potentially have two rounds with ten competitors each, depending on how many sign up. There's a $20 entry fee for competitors, which includes all you can eat (in ten minutes) hot dogs and a free t-shirt designed by Carne & Queso.
Interested eaters who are 21 and over can sign up now by going to 4th Avenue Deli, located at 425 N. Fourth Ave., and signing a waiver. Participants can also sign up at the qualifying events up to ten minutes before the competition begins. The events are free to watch.
The grand finale will pit ten people against each other at The Rialto Theatre as a part of Bob Log III’s Great ‘Murican B-Day Bash on Friday, July 3. Eight first and second place winners, last year's winner Dustin Cox and a third place wild card competitor (the one who eats the most hot dogs in third place) will compete. Bob Log III, The Jons, Pork Torta and Dep't of Descriptive Services will entertain crowds.
Tickets for the final competition are $12 in advance and can be found on the Rialto Theatre website
, along with more information.