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Wiener take all

  • Written by Michael Gilbert

  A.J. Pasek certainly didn’t dog it after he tasked himself to come up with a new attraction for Palos Hills’ Friendship Fest.

In fact, Pasek’s idea is one he hopes many fest-goers will surely relish.
  The longtime third-ward alderman told members of the city council on June 18 of his hope to incorporate a hot dog-eating contest into the annual fest, which will take place from next Thursday through June 12 at 107th Street and 88th Avenue.
After the idea was well received by the council – aldermen Pauline Stratton and Michael Lebarre both publicly Page-1-or-jump-page-hot-dogPalos Hills Alderman A.J. Pasek is the force behind a hot dog eating contest to take place at Friendship Fest. Photo by Jeff Vorva.supported it – Pasek said he would reach out to Durbin’s to gauge their interest in sponsoring the competition. A few days later, Pasek said Durbin’s was on board with cooking and delivering the dogs to the fest.
Contestants will have 10 minutes to eat a maximum of 25 hot dogs, with the first to do so receiving a $50 cash prize, Pasek said. Medals will also be awarded to the top three finishers. If no one is able to eat all 25 dogs in 10 minutes, the person who has consumed the most will be declared the winner.  kkkkkkkkk
“This will be fast and exciting,” Pasek said. “Hopefully it will become an annual event. I think it will be a great addition to Friendship Fest.”
He thinks enough contestants will want to wolf down the hot dogs for money and fame.
“I’m thinking there is going to be 10 or 20 people who are going to come out of the woodwork and want to compete to be our first hot dog-eating contest winner,” Pasek told the council. “I know it seems funny, but you will see there are people that are going to take this dead serious because they are hot dog-eating champions, or at least they think they are.”  
The contest, which will take place at 7 p.m. on July 12, will be capped at a maximum of 20 contestants, Pasek said. Information on signing up will be available near the beer tent once the festival opens on Thursday. An entrance fee of $15 will be collected to cover the cost of the dogs.
All participants must sign a waiver releasing the city of any liability should an injury occur during the competition, Pasek said.
As he would like this to turn into a fundrasier for the city, Pasek said he is trying to find a company or two to donate the hot dogs and buns but said if that does not happen he would make up the difference between the entrance fee and the cost of dogs and condiments.
Pasek said the idea for the contest came to him last month while he was watching the Food Network and a discussion on the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest came up. That contest is held annually in Coney Island on the Fourth of July and since 2003 has been broadcast live on ESPN.
“I thought if they can do it [in Coney Island] we can do it here in Palos Hills,” Pasek said. “I’m always thinking of ways to help the city and the Friendship Fest become more successful, and I think this would be pretty cool.”