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Hot Dog Derby No. 6 (O’Betty’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Jackie O’s)

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 24, 2009

A few of my favorite things include: Athens, O’Betty’s Hot Dogs, Jackie O’s Micro-brewed Beer and women in red dresses with devil horns. By a great stroke all of these were at the same place so I took a day off work to get my fair share of the excitement.

Plenty of empty parking spaces but few empty meters.  There were 3-4 bikes were locked to each parking meter.

Plenty of empty parking spaces but few empty meters. There were 3-4 bikes locked to each parking meter.

People walked, biked, skateboarded and drove (from Columbus in one case) to the Hot Dog Derby. This year the event was held at Jackie O’s. Hmm, Hot Dogs and beer. Oh Boy! Jackie O’s + O’Betty’s = Outstanding.

What is the recipe for a good hot dog derby? Start with a Boxcar Burlesque show, add a Hot Dog Trivia Jeopardy contest for valuable hot dog themed prizes, mix in some really good beer, pay homage to the Hot Dog King and Queen, then surround yourself with a lot burlesque dancers in training wearing devils horns.

Subdued hot dog fans....prior to the event

Subdued hot dog fans....prior to the event

The contest started at 3:00 PM. Bob Satmary, co-owner of O’Betty’s and the reigning Hot Dog King served as master of ceremonies. The contestants included a retired champion from the original contest in 2003 along with newcomers with nicknames such as “The Dark Horse” and “Chuggs the Dog Man”.

A capacity crowd of hot dog lovers gets ready for the contest.  Notice the large number of horned heads.

A capacity crowd of hot dog lovers gets ready for the contest. Notice the large number of horned heads.

As the hot dog queen looks on, Bob Satmary reads the rules of the days contest.

As the hot dog queen looks on, Bob Satmary reads the rules of the days contest.

The rules are shown below. Here is what one needs to do, eat as many hot dogs as you can in 10 minutes while music blares and the crowd of 100 plus people cheer you on. Hope that you do not puke – not for the shame of it but because you lose out on your chance for some really good prizes. Hot dogs and buns are steamed with no toppings and piled in front of the contestants just prior to the start.

The Rules..... to Roman means to barf, puke, spew, etc.  (It happened).

The Rules..... to Roman means to barf, puke, spew, etc. (It happened).

I can think of no better way to spend 10 minutes than to stand in a crowded bar, drink a micro brewed beer and watch people shove, push, mangle and slide hot dogs down their throats. There is a magic about Athens in the summertime. Most of the people at Jackie O’s knew each other or at least knew of each other. The sense of community and fun permeated the place and people. I felt like I was a character in or at least a visitor to a “Northern Exposure” episode. The winner won with 13 dogs consumed. Most of the others ate 8 -11 hot dogs and one contestant vomited. This was not unexpected which is why each contestant had their own bucket.

The hot dog cake (not made of hot dogs)

The hot dog cake (not made of hot dogs)

To make the event complete there was a hot dog cake for all the share and plenty of left over hot dogs served gratis to the guests.

Cutting of the cake by a lady (one of many) in red

Cutting of the cake by a lady (one of many) in red

After the festivities, people strolled or rolled over to the Athens County Fair to watch the demolition derby and to see how this years O’Bettys car fared in the Mad Max like competition. It was a perfect summer afternoon in Athens.

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