Every year, on the third Wednesday of July, National Hot Dog Day invites us to celebrate a quintessential American culinary creation - the hot dog. This day gives us all a reason to revel in our love for this delicious fare. The hot dog is more than just a quick snack; it’s a piece of American gastronomic tradition, often garnished with typical toppings like mustard, ketchup, onions, mayo, relish, sauerkraut, or cheese.

This delectable delicacy, with its timeless combination of juicy frankfurters and soft buns, is truly a comfort food for many. Therefore, National Hot Dog Day isn’t just about enjoying endless servings of hot dogs; it’s about showcasing the undefined joy and versatility that make this food an enduring American favorite.

History of National Hot Dog Day

The first celebration of National Hot Dog Day can be traced back to 1991, initiated by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. The intention was to honour America’s affection for hot dogs throughout National Hot Dog Month, which is also July.

Fast forward to today, National Hot Dog Day has become a red-letter day marked by assorted activities and special promotions run by hot dog sellers nationwide. It’s often celebrated alongside major league baseball games, while hot dog eating contests as the ones conducted by Nathan’s Famous also happen on this day, drawing considerable crowds.

Hot dogs play a pivotal role in American culture. It’s thought they were first brought to the U.S by German immigrants during the 19th century and quickly became favourites at baseball games and public events alike.

According to popular belief, the term “hot dog” came about during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds. As vendors started to sell ‘hot daschund sausages’ during cooler weather, the name ‘dog’ cemented itself in the vernacular.

Today, National Hot Dog Day carries on commemorating this iconic American dish. Hot dogs are a staple at backyard BBQs, street food stalls, and even high-end gourmet eateries, enjoyed by millions throughout the country.

National Hot Dog Day Timeline

Frankfurt Hotdogs

The city of Frankfurt, Germany, claims to have invented the frankfurter, a precursor to the hot dog.

Charles Feltman's Hot Dog Stand

German immigrant Charles Feltman opens the first hot dog stand in Coney Island, New York

Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger

Feuchtwanger moved to St. Louis, Missouri and sold hot dogs in buns, allegedly as a way to prevent customers from burning their hands.

Opening of Nathan's

Nathan Handwerker opened a hot dog stand in Coney Island, which quickly became famous and still operates today.

Kings and Queens Enjoy Hot Dogs

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England enjoyed a picnic at Franklin D. Roosevelt's home, where they ate hot dogs.

Hot Dog becomes MLB staple

Baseball and hot dogs become synonymous, as this year marked a significant rise in hot dog consumption at baseball games.

First Hot Dog Eating Contest

Nathan's Famous hosts their first Fourth of July hot dog-eating competition at the original Coney Island location. The competition becomes an annual tradition.

National Hot Dog Day Established

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council establishes National Hot Dog Day to celebrate the summer tradition.

Ideas to Celebrate National Hot Dog Day

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Host a Hot Dog Eating Contest

Gather your friends and family for a fun-filled hot dog eating contest. Make sure to have various types of hot dogs and condiments prepared.

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Hot Dog Barbecue Party

Celebrate the day by hosting a backyard barbecue party featuring hot dogs. Offer a variety of sausages, buns, and topping options for everyone to create their own dream hot dog.

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Try Gourmet Hot Dog Recipes

Broaden your culinary horizons during National Hot Dog Day by trying out gourmet hot dog recipes. This could be loaded chili hot dogs, Chicago-style hot dogs, or even hot dog sushi.

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Picnic in the Park

Grab a picnic basket and fill it with hot dogs, buns, and condiments. Enjoy a pleasant day at the local park while munching on your tasty hot dogs.

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Hot Dog Cooking Class

Host a cooking class where you teach how to cook different variations of hot dogs. Focus on unique and exotic toppings that aren't usually found in traditional hot dogs.

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Movie Night feat Hot Dogs

Turn your movie night into a hot dog extravaganza! Enjoy this comfort food while watching your favorite films or series.

6 Interesting Facts About Hot Dogs


Hot Dogs and American Baseball

The hot dog has become a staple food at American baseball games. The term 'hot dog' was popularized in the baseball park, coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds.


Creation Debate

There is a debate about where the hot dog was invented with claims from Frankfurt, Germany and Vienna, Austria - hence the names frankfurter and wiener.


Hot Dog-Eating Contest

Nathan's Famous, an American hot dog company, holds a hot dog-eating contest every 4th of July on Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.


Guinness World Record

The most expensive hot dog ever sold for a whopping $169 in 2014 by Tokyo Dog in Seattle according to the Guinness World Records.


Hot Dog Season

Hot dog season in America is considered to be between Memorial Day and Labor Day, during which Americans reportedly consume 7 billion hot dogs.


Presidential Approval

American President Franklin Roosevelt included hot dogs on the menu of a state dinner in 1939, even serving them to the King and Queen of England.

National Hot Dog Day FAQs

Next National Hot Dog Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 July 19th Wednesday
2024 July 17th Wednesday
2025 July 16th Wednesday
2026 July 15th Wednesday
2027 July 21st Wednesday
What is the pattern? Third Wednesday of July

National Hot Dog Day Word Search

  • Grill
  • HotDog
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Sausage
  • Picnic