On July 4, 2007, America watched in awe as Joey Chestnut won the Nathanís Famous International Hot Dog Eating Championship, beating six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan and bring the Mustard Yellow Belt back to American soil for the first time in this century.

In anticipation of the 2008 rematch, Nathanís Famous, Inc. has announced the list of cities that will play host to official qualifying events. The champions of each qualifier will compete at the original Nathanís Famous in Coney Island on July Fourth.

ďOur hot dog eating contest has occurred in Coney Island since 1916, but never has the excitement been bigger than it is today,Ē said Wayne Norbitz, President and COO of Nathanís Famous, Inc. ďFans worldwide consider the Nathanís July Fourth event to be the Masters of Major League Eating, and we are thrilled to sponsor events throughout the country as we approach what will surely be an historic Independence Day.Ē

In 2007, 45,000 fans crowded the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to witness Joey Chestnutís victory over Takeru Kobayashi. An additional 1.5 million households tuned in to the contestís live broadcast on ESPN. Chestnut ate a world record 66 Nathanís Hot Dogs and Buns in the 12-minute contest. Kobayashi placed second with 62.

The 2008 Nathanís Famous hot dog-eating circuit begins on May 8th in Las Vegas, NV. Other cities on the tour include Minneapolis, MN (May 10), Hartford, CT (May 17), Philadelphia, PA (May 24), Tempe, AZ (May 31), Norfolk, VA (June 7), Charlotte, NC (June 14), Queens, NY (June 14), Myrtle Beach, SC (June 21), Atlanta, GA (June 21), West Chester, PA (June 26), Camden, NJ (June 28), and Daly City, CA (June 28).

The winner of each qualifying round will receive the right to compete in the Nathanís Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest which, according to archives, has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY since 1916. Qualifiers are open to those 18 years of age and older and applications will be taken online at beginning Monday, April 14 at 12:00pm EST.

Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, sanctions the Nathanís Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit and ensures the events are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event.