Hold Onto Your Hot Dogs: Eating Contest Set For July 4 At Mokena VFW

MOKENA, IL — Got a hankering for some hot dogs this Independence Day? How about a full five minutes of rapid-fire hot dogs down the gullet? Well then, Dinky’s Beef, Burgers & Pizza in partnership with the Mokena VFW has just the thing.

Following the 4th of July parade in Mokena, Dinky’s and the VFW will host a no-holds-barred, winner take, good ole’ fashioned hot dog eating contest at the VFW, 19852 Wolf Road. The contest is scheduled to start at approximately 12:15 pm, depending on when the parade ends, said Dinky’s owner and contest organizer Anthony Meza.

Registration for the contest is $15. Those interested can register in person at the VFW. Participants will receive a special T-shirt to commemorate the experience.

The rules for the contest are pretty simple. Contestants will have five minutes to eat as many Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs as they possibly can, bun and all. People can dress up their dogs any way they want, or go the plain route. Water cups will be provided for those experienced professionals who like to soak the dog and bun to make it easier to go down.

And one more rule: Meza will issue a 1-minute warning as time expires. If at any time during that minute a contestant’s hot dog should revolt against the contestant’s belly and make a run for it out onto the pavement, that contestant will be disqualified. You’ve been warned.

Whoever eats the most hot dogs wins the most appropriate prize there is — free hot dogs at the VFW for a year!

Meza said he wasn’t sure how the idea for the contest came to him, but surely there are those out there that are glad it did.

“I have so many ideas running through my head. This sounded like a good one,” Meza said.

He ran it by the command staff at the VFW, and they gave it their blessing. Plus, since the VFW passes out free hot dogs on the 4th of July to those who stop by anyway, the contest seemed like a match made in hot dog heaven, whatever that might be exactly.

“It’ll give everybody something to watch while they’re eating their free hot dogs,” Meza said.

Dinky’s offers a full menu at the VFW, including “the best Italian beef around” (according to Meza), pizza, wings and the always popular Friday fish fry. Daily specials are offered from 5 pm to 11 pm Monday-Friday. Delivery is available in the Lincoln-Way area. Dinky’s is off on the weekends.

In additional to getting good grub inside the VFW, Dinky’s offers a catering service for special occasions and parties, Meza said. Those interested in learning more about Dinky’s catering services should stop by the VFW and speak with either Meza or Marjorie Anders, or reach out on Dinky’s Facebook page.

The 4th of July, for many, is about celebrating freedom, including the freedom to gorge on hot dogs. And Meza had a message for those who help protect those freedoms:

“Thank you to every veteran, first responder, every special service person out there. Thank you to everybody from the VFW.”

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