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Nathan’s Famous will hold July 4 Hot Dog-Eating Contest qualifier in Lancaster on June 3

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut wins the 2017 Nathans Famous 4th Of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest with 72 hot dogs at Coney Island on July 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

LANCASTER — Attention, aspiring competitive eaters: Nathan’s Famous will host a qualifying event for the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in Lancaster on Sunday, June 3.

The event will be held at 2 p.m. at Dutch Wonderland, on Lincoln Highway in East Lampeter Township.

The top male and female finishers in the event will qualify for a seat at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4th, 2018, where they will face reigning champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo.

“The launch of the annual Nathan’s Famous hot dog-eating contest circuit signals the arrival of summer,” said Scott Harvey, executive vice president of Nathan’s Famous. “Some of the most accomplished eaters in the world will compete at this event, but we also are seeking new talent in Lancaster to represent our nation on the most patriotic day of the year.”

“Competitive eating is the lens through which our humanity is revealed,” said Major League Eating Chair George Shea. “Competing against world champ Joey Chestnut on the big stage in Coney Island on July 4 is the dream of any patriot.”

Chestnut currently holds the title of hot dog-eating world champion after defeating rising star Carmen Cincotti with a Coney Island record of 72 hot dogs in 2017. Chestnut’s all-time best is a world record 73 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

Sudo will defend her title as female champion, having consumed 41 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes in 2017, a new personal best.

In recent years, an estimated 35,000 fans have traveled to the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in person. The live telecast of the event has consistently attracted millions of viewers since ESPN first aired the contest in 2004.

According to legend, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, N.Y., since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the beloved restaurant. MLE, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Circuit and ensures the contests are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event.

Those interested in competing in the Pennsylvania qualifier should visit http://www.majorleagueeating.com to obtain information and register.

All competitors must be over 18 years of age.