Celebrate America’s 234th birthday in style today, thanks to our guide.
It will be man-eat-dog mania when the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Championship returns to Coney Island. Last year, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut set an all-time record of 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, and has apparently sent Takeru Kobayashi packing as he goes for his fourth consecutive title at the corner of Stillwell and Surf avenues. If Kobayashi doesn’t show, look out for “Notorious B.O.B” Bob Shoudt — who just recently surpassed Kobayashi for the No. 2 eater.
If you’re a betting man, head on over to Willie’s Dawgs instead and sign up for the Park Slope spot’s hot dog eating contest lottery pool, with the spoils (a $100 discount at Park Slope Veterinary Care) going to whoever correctly predicts the amount of hot dogs it will take to win Coney Island’s fabled event (last year it was 68, and everyone knows that Chestnut will eat 74 this year). The hot dog joint plans to donate all proceeds from the lottery to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue organization, which helps keep man’s best friends safe.
Later, head to Floyd Bennett Field for a Fabolous day. That’s no misprint: the Brooklyn MC will co-headline the third annual Brooklyn Music Festival at Aviator Sports. He’s joined by the infamous Shaggy, whose hit song “Wasn’t Me” lit up the charts in the late 1990s, and B.O.B, the young budding rap star from Atlanta who topped the charts in 2010 with his soulful ballad “Nothin’ on You.” Other acts include Tony Matterhorn and Lady Saw, two Jamaican dancehall deejays who plan to ignite the dance floor, and Jamaican crooner Barrington Levy.
For those looking to move, put on your Fourth of July dancing shoes and head out to Bushwick for a patriotic powwow of massive proportions. The Sunday Best crew is at it again with its self-proclaimed “best doggone backyard barbecue in Brooklyn,” at its new home at Brooklyn Fire Proof. Burgers, corn on the cob and, of course, hot dogs will be on the grill, while special DJ guest Rich Medina will keep the tunes pumping from 3 pm into the night — but ending early enough for you to catch some fireworks.
And for a good old-fashioned picnic, head to Bay Ridge for state Sen. Marty Golden’s third annual gathering. Blues Circus, the Groove, High Tides, Piranha Bros., The Ridge, and Frank Marra and His Band will provide the tunes, while hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, drinks and ice cream will be available.
Although the Hudson River once again plays host to the Fourth of July Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular, you can still enjoy the patriotic pyrotechnics from numerous waterfront parks, as the shells will reach heights of up to 1,000 feet, creating more than a mile of dazzling fiery joy visible from the Brooklyn shore.
North Brooklyn parks like East River State Park, Grand Ferry Park and the lesser-known Transmitter Park in Greenpoint offer the clearest views of the fireworks, set off between W. 24th and W. 50th street across the river. Financial district skyscrapers partially obscure the view from Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, but southern Brooklynites can flock to the 69th Street Pier in Gravesend for a straight peep up the river.
The 26-minute show starts at 9:20 pm, so pack some watermelon, head over to watch the sunset, and make a night of it.
Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan’s Famous [between Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island, (718) 946-2202], noon. For info, visit www.nathansfamous.com; Hot dog eating contest lottery at Willie’s Dawgs [351 Fifth Ave. between Fifth and Sixth streets in Park Slope, (718) 832-2941], noon. Enter for $5; Brooklyn Music Festival at Floyd Bennett Field [3159 Flatbush Ave. off the Belt Parkway in Marine Park, (718) 758-7556], noon to 10 pm. Tickets $59; Sunday Best at Brooklyn Fireproof [119 Ingraham St. at Porter Avenue in Bushwick, (718) 456-7570], 3-9 pm. Tickets $12. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org; Greater Bay Ridge Fourth of July Picnic [82nd Street and Shore Road, (718) 238-6044], 11 am to 9 pm. Free.
East River State Park (90 Kent Ave. between N. 13th and N. 14th streets in Williamsburg, no phone); Grand Ferry Park (Grand Street at River Street in Williamsburg, no phone); Transmitter Park (Greenpoint Avenue at West Street in Greenpoint, no phone); 69th Street Veterans Memorial Pier (Shore Road at Bay Ridge Avenue in Gravesend, no phone).