HOT DOG EATING CONTEST: History Of The Nathan's Famous Event At Coney Island (SLIDESHOW)

Believe it or not, according to archives, the Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest has taken place every Independence Day dating back all the way to 1916. The event has risen in popularity ever since, and in 2004 ESPN began broadcasting the contest live for national audiences to see.

Last year, Joey Chestnut defeated six-time hot dog eating champion, Takeru Kobayashi, in an epic five-dog eat-off after they had tied by both consuming 59 hot dogs. Chestnut and Kobayashi will go head-to-head once again this year. Chestnut is aiming to win his third contest in a row.

See a slideshow all of the champions since 1997... and check back for news of the event when it kicks off this Saturday, July 4.