Johnsonville Brats Attract Top Talent to Sheboygan

The Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship, an IFOCE-sanctioned competition sponsored by The Sheboygan Jaycees and Johnsonville Sausage, has attracted top eating talent to Sheboygan, Wisc.

Among the more than two dozen eaters signed for the event is Sonya Thomas, the Black Widow and the number-one ranked American.

The event, which takes place on August 6 as part of the annual Johnsonville Brat Days at the Kiwanis Park in Sheboygan, Wisc., will feature a total of $11,000 in prize money (with a $4,000 first prize).

Other highlights of the festival, which runs August 4-6, 2005, include:

· Rockers Night Ranger will be on-hand to headline the musical acts, performing on the main stage, Saturday, August 6 at XX p.m.

· Author, television host and “grilling guru” Steven Raichlen will be on-hand sharing some of his best brat tips and tricks, along with other grilling knowledge

· Festival favorites also return with the traditional and exotic brat creations, beer gardens, polka bands, stump fiddle contest and midway entertainment

· Johnsonville’s massive Big Taste Grill, a converted semi truck sporting the world’s largest grill weighing in at 53,000 pounds and 65 feet long is able to cook 2,500 brats per hour

The first Brat Days festival was held in 1953 and has since provided brat lovers from all over the country with a one-of-a-kind brat experience. Brat Days is also the largest fundraiser for the Sheboygan Jaycees, having raised more than $150,000 over the last 10 years. Proceeds from the festival are returned to the community through organizations such as the Sheboygan Recreation Department, Above and Beyond Children’s Museum, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society.

Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the number one national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville Sausage products are available in 39 countries including France, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Hong Kong, China and the United States. Johnsonville employs 1,000 members. Each of them takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and "Big Taste" of Johnsonville Sausage. Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. & Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today.