For those with a soft spot in their hearts for the epicurean delight that is the hot dog, Mills is the place to be this long holiday weekend.
The second annual Wyoming Hot Dog Eating Championship on Monday will feature feats of gastronomical bravery as competitors face off in an attempt to eat the most hot dogs — including buns — in 11 minutes.
Organizer Ticker Lock, owner of Casper’s Rockin’ Burgers ’n Dogs Food Truck, said he created the championship and accompanying activities to give residents of his hometown of Mills something to look forward to at the end of the summer.
“It’s my way of giving back to the community,” he said. “There’s nothing to do on Labor Day. So I created it. I wanted to give the community something to look forward to.”
Competitors simply have to register at no cost on the day of the event. However, only seven men and seven women will be allowed to enter — although one extra spot is automatically awarded to the winners of the 2018 competition if they choose to enter this year.
Separate competitions will be held for men and women. Last year’s champion in men’s competition ate 13 hot dogs, while the women’s winner, who came to Casper from Nevada, ate 12, Lock said.
Competitors must eat not only the all-beef hot dogs, but the accompanying buns as well, he added.
“A lot of them bring their own Kool-Aid or water to dunk the bun,” he said. “It saves on a bit of chewing.”
The winners will each receive a custom-made championship belt.
The hot dog contest is the highlight of the full-day celebration at Mills River Front Park. Activities begin with a car show at 4 p.m. sponsored by group “Pop in the Shop.” The fee for putting to put a car on display is $10 and the proceeds will be used to help Pop in the Shop in its work to mentor young men.
Also on hand will be several food trucks, including Rockin’ Burgers n’ Dogs, Deb’s Fudge Kitchen, I Scream for Ice Cream and Miss Sara’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, along with vendors, all beginning at 3 p.m.
Live music by Chad Lore, “Wyoming’s One-Man Band,” will begin at 4 p.m.