You may not be traveling to go swimming or see fireworks this weekend, but one thing is universal to July 4, even in the midst of a pandemic: hot dogs.
Whether you're having a few hot dogs yourself at home or tuning in to watch competitive eaters gobble up a few dozen in the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, hot dogs should be top of mind Saturday.
Even this yearly tradition isn't untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic; for the first time, the contest will be held indoors without any spectators, in Brooklyn, New York, rather than Coney Island.
And given how many people may be staying home this weekend in lieu of their normal holiday weekend travel plans, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest may see a corresponding bump in ratings. In 2019, the ESPN broadcast brought in nearly two million viewers, according to NathansFamous.com.
All the information you need to tune in to watch reigning champion Joey Chestnut and his challengers slide cased meats down their gullets is below, as well as a preview of this year's contestants, records at stake and fun facts about the contest's history.
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2020 TV Schedule, Live-Stream Info
Date: Saturday, July 4
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Time: Noon ET
TV channel: ESPN
Live stream: ESPN
Replay: Throughout the day July 4 on ESPN
Chestnut enters this year's contest eyeing his 13th Mustard Yellow Belt and his fourth-straight victory. But five other competitors will attempt to thwart him. Still, Chestnut is far and away the favorite in the men's field, with -1,250 odds (bet $100 to win $8) compared to +650 (bet $100 to win $650) for the rest of the field, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
On the women's side, Miki Sudo looks for her seventh straight career title and perhaps to best her personal record, which is 41.
Brooklyn has been good to Chestnut; it's where the contest was held two years ago when he set his world record of 74. But he told TMZ Sports he's looking to break that record this year.
"I'm breaking the record this 4th of July! This is gonna be a weird 4th of July, but I'ma make it memorable. My record 74, 75 just sounds like a good number but we'll see," Chestnut told TMZ. "If I'm feeling it, if I'm in the perfect rhythm, 77 is doable."
Chestnut noted that it's easier to eat more dogs in the air conditioning (naturally; meat sweats), which is why the conditions were favorable for his record-setting feat two years ago and why he thinks he could reach 77 this year.
He also suggested that given the smaller field—this year's contest was cut down from 15 competitors to just five in both the men's and women's divisions—the hot dogs may be tastier, with fewer for event organizers to prepare overall.
According to Nathan's website, consuming 74 hot dogs packs on about 12,000 calories in a matter of minutes.
This year marks the 104th iteration of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, and ESPN's Mike Golic Jr. will do play-by-play of the competition.