Food Lifestyles

Hot dog! It’s Wiener Fest time

Just mention Wiener Fest to the team at Love Augusta, and the laughs begin.

Molly Swift, who came up with the idea for the hotdog extravaganza, said frankly that the wiener jokes have been constant since the planning started earlier this year, and that fun atmosphere is exactly what she wants to spill over into the event planned for May 20.

“We wanted to do something fun together. Fun and unique,” she said. “We wanted to make our mark with a wiener.”

Held from 1 to 7 p.m. at Savannah River Brewing Co., the event will feature a hot dog eating contest at 2 p.m., a DJ and food trucks in a family-friendly environment.

The hot dog-eating contestants will be an eight-minute free-for-all to ingest as many wieners as possible, and that’s not as easy as it looks, according to Scott Russell, who has been seen around town wearing a hot dog costume to promote the event.

He said he tried participating in a sausage eating contest at Oktoberfest in 2022.

Scott Russell (wearing the hot dog costume) prepares to eat some franks. Courtesy Love Augusta

 “I was halfway through one and one guy had already eaten four,” he said.

There will be two brackets with about six or seven contestants in each one.

Swift, who has become an expert on the subject through researching contests, said 20 is the average number of hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes at the professional level.

And only fully consumed and non-regurgitated dogs count.

The winner will receive a handmade footlong hot dog trophy from TireCity Potters.

Vendors including Fat Man’s Mill, Sno-Cap Drive In, Manny’s Sports Off Broad, Villa Europa, Fuse and The Munchies Lab will be bringing their takes on hot dogs and sausage dogs as well as some of their standard menu fare.

Russell, Cliff Dyches and Ann Beth Strelec will judge the hot dogs and present awards for most original, judges’ choice and best overall.

Although the event hasn’t event taken place yet, Russell said they are already talking about doing it next year.

Swift said the team has been working for several years to promote local restaurants and businesses, and their owners “want have to events like this on a more regular basis that pull the community together.”

As a third party, Love Augusta is able to bring everyone together to “celebrate local food and local businesses.”

Donations will be taken for the Dog and Cat Networking Agency at the event.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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