2011 Nathan's Famous Circuit Announced

Nathan's Famous, Inc. is readying for its 96th annual July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest. In anticipation of this signature event, Nathan's will conduct a qualifying tour to secure champion competitors from all around the country. The circuit will begin in Las Vegas on April 23rd and wind its way through at least 12 other cities before the final event takes place on July 4, 2011 at the Nathan's Famous flagship in Coney Island.

"I'm thrilled that Nathan's Famous has become such an integral part of America's July Fourth celebration," said Wayne Norbitz, President and COO of Nathan's Famous, Inc. "Through our qualifying circuit we are able to bring a bit of Coney Island to Nathan's lovers around the country."

The Nathan's Famous circuit will visit more than a dozen cities. Qualifying events will occur at Nathan's Famous retail locations, water parks, NFL stadiums and Major League ballparks. As always, the champions from each qualifier will earn a trip to compete in the ESPN televised finals at the original Nathan's Famous in Coney Island on July Fourth.

In recent years, an estimated 40,000 fans have made the pilgrimage to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan's Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest in person. The live ESPN telecast of the event drew an audience of 1.7 million viewers in 2010. Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA holds the world record for eating 68 Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes, and he will seek his fifth straight title this year.

Host cities of the 2011 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit include Las Vegas, NV, Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Atlantic City, NJ, Cleveland, OH, New York, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Tempe, AZ Los Angeles, CA, Charlotte, NC and Poughkeepsie, NY. This year, Nathan's will also hold international qualifying events in Beijing, China and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

According to archives, the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant. Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, 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.

**Registration for the qualifying circuit will take place ONLY at beginning at 2:00pm EST on Wednesday, March 30th. Registration is open to those 18 years of age and older.**

2011 Nathan's Famous Qualifying Circuit Schedule

Saturday, April 23 - New York, New York Hotel - Las Vegas, NV

Saturday, May 14 - Bruster's Real Ice Cream - Newnan, GA

Saturday, May 21 - Showcase Cinema - Foxboro, MA

Saturday, May 28 - Trump Plaza - Atlantic City, NJ

Thursday, June 2 - Tower City Mall - Cleveland, OH

Saturday, June 4 - Citi Field - Queens, NY

Wednesday, June 8 - YWCA - Market Square - Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday, June 11 - Arizona Mills Mall - Tempe, AZ

Sunday, June 12 - Nathan's Famous - Hawthorne, CA

Saturday, June 18 - LeMall - Beijing, China

Saturday, June 18 - Nathan's Famous - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Saturday, June 18 - Concord Mills Mall - Charlotte, NC

Saturday, June 25 - SplashDown Beach Water Park - Fishkill, NY

Monday, July 4 - Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest - Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY