Hot dog eating contest at Topsfield Fair to benefit scholarship fund

The B’nai B’rith Booth is sponsoring the first-ever hot dog eating contest at the Topsfield Fair. It will benefit the Essex Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund.

Competitive eaters, listen up. There’s going to be a hot dog eating contest at the Topsfield Fair this year. But, here’s the thing. You’ll be eating quarter-pound franks, as opposed to the standard summer barbeque size.

B’nai B’rith, which has had a booth at the fair for 58 years, is sponsoring the contest in honor of the Topsfield Fair’s 200th anniversary and to benefit the Essex Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund. There will be three qualifying heats on Saturday, Sept. 29, and the finals will be Sunday, Oct. 7.

In announcing the contest, Marc Freedman of B’nai B’rith said, “What is more old-time fair than that?”

He provided details, alongside Topsfield Fair General Manager James O’Brien, during a press briefing at Coolidge Hall on the fairgrounds.

“This is not your wimpy Nathan’s hot dog that we’re talking about here,” Freedman said.

“Show them the photo,” O’Brien told him.

Freedman held up a picture of the quarter-pound Hebrew National Hot Dogs B’nai B’rith has been serving up in its booth at the fair since 1960.

“The first thing you’ve got to ask somebody is, ‘Do you have insurance,’” he joked.

Contestants will have five minutes to see how many they can eat.

“I’m going with an over/under of 12, to see if someone can do that,” Freedman said.

The winner will receive $200, provided by Freedman Financial. All of the $20 registration fees will go toward scholarships.

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