CLEVELAND (WJW) – Hot dog! A major international competition is coming to Northeast Ohio this Memorial Day weekend.
The International Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest will be holding a qualifying event at Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.
The female and male winners will advance to the World Championship round on July 4th at Coney Island.
“We are so jazzed about being selected as the host event here in Cleveland,” said Candyce Traci, PR Ambassador Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest.
The contest is attracting some of the country’s top competitive eaters from neighboring states and at least one household name and hopeful from Cleveland.
“I’ve always had the propensity to house massive amounts of food,” said Carmen Angelo, with WTAM’s The Bloomdaddy Show. “I’m not a competitive eater by trade, but it’s something I look forward to I have fun doing it.”
Angelo has participated in and won a few amateur matches over the years.
“My personal best, 55-hotdogs. Pot stickers, gosh, I ate a few hundred pot stickers,” said Angelo.
But he admits he’s hungry to win Nathan’s “belt” and become a world champion hot dog aficionado.
“I’ve always loved hot dogs,” said Angelo. “I want to go to Coney Island and be with Joey Chestnut which would be a trip.”
Chestnut is the reigning champ who has won the title 15 times.
Some rib fest organizers think Angelo has a good chance at making it to the finals to face him.
“You cannot understand, this man can eat. he is bona fide ready to enter this competition and win the thing,” said Traci.
Angelo says his strategy is simple: “I’m just going to sit down and hammer as many dogs as possible and hopefully I’ll be crowned the new champ. Let’s go!”
To learn more about the competition and all events at this years Berea Rib Cook-Off, go here.