Defending champ Chestnut eats 74 hot dogs

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest to Air Live July 4 on ESPN2

The trophies and champion belts are on display on stage ahead of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in New York's Coney Island.

Apparently thousands of people turned out for this year's competition in over 90 degree heat, wearing hot dog-inspired fashions and cheering on the competitors. Contest rules stipulate that both the bun and the frankfurter must be consumed in order to get the point. Yes, it's time for another Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Every year on July 4, the hot dog brand Nathan's Famous hosts a hot dog eating contest at their Coney Island home, a spot that TIME has previously called the "spiritual home of the US hot dog".

Later this afternoon, challengers with insatiable appetites - and something to prove - will convene at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island where they will attempt to eat as many hot dogs as they can over the course of 10 minutes. There was some confusion regarding how many hot dogs Chestnut ate because one plate wasn't counted.

That smashes the record of 72 that he set past year.

The women's competition begins at 9 a.m. on ESPN3, and the men's at 10:30 a.m. on ESPN2.

What's the Fourth of July without a hot dog? The winners in 2017 were Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo.

The 2018 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest will take place from 11 a.m. EST to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Thomas' record is 45, but she managed 30 previous year. Judges also miscounted the result for second-place finisher Carmen Cincotti, who was initially said to have eaten 45 hot dogs but had actually eaten 64. Held annually each year, today's contest was the 102nd since the eating event was inaugurated.

Just in case you weren't in the hot dog eating spirit, preferring a quick, refreshing, cool snack, but with a twist, there was also a watermelon seed spitting contest.

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