Hot Dog Day festival adds eating contest
The second annual Harry Stevens Hot Dog Day will be Sunday in downtown Niles.
The festival, which runs from noon to 8 p.m., coincides with the city of Niles’ Fourth of July parade, set for 2 p.m.
About 30 food, drink and merchandise vendors will be located along State Street.
The Avenue and Main organization will be selling hot dogs as well as tickets for basket raffles and drawings. Commemorative T-shirts also will be sold.
The bands French Blue and Main Street Lions will perform on the stage, and there will also be a hot-dog eating contest. Competitors are still being sought and can contact Jeff Crowley at 330-519-5704. Some of the top cornhole competitors from around the region will compete for more than $1,000 in prize money on Pine Alley, next to the Sons of Italy.
The hot-dog topping contest will return, and the popular wiener dog races and costume contests will be at the Niles Trailhead.
The Miss Niles and Little Miss Niles pageants will be at the McKinley Presidential Memorial. Miss Ohio 2013 Heather Wells will be the special guest.
A Civil War encampment will be erected at the Trailhead, with several cannon blasts throughout the day from the 19th Ohio Light Artillery from Salem.
Harry Stevens, a Niles native, is credited with popularizing the hot dog, inventing the baseball scorecard and, by many accounts, the drinking straw. He is regarded as America’s foremost ballpark concessionaire.
This year’s festivities will actually begin at 2 p.m. Saturday with a ceremony at Niles City Cemetery. A program will take place at Stevens’ tombstone and will culminate with the laying of a wreath. The rain location is the McKinley Presidential Memorial.
For information, go to HSHDD.com.