In Coney Island, Nathan's hosts a 10 minute hot dog eating contest and this year Joey Chestnut won by eating 68 wieners. The Orlando take on this contest is a bit different in that the contestants have 10 hours in which to eat the hot dogs. When I arrived at Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Brian Feldman had eaten only 3 hot dogs and he only took a few bites from another politely using a knife and fork. If anyone asked who was winning, he would respond with, "How do you define a winner?" They were not competing it seems based on simple numbers but it was a more refined competition based on savoring the moment. Caroline Johnson, who is from Spain, was reading excerpts from her novel while Brian and Zac Alfson slowly tasted their vegan hot dogs. Caroline was also a contestant since she had a small mountain of uneaten hot dogs in front of her, but she never tried a hot dog while I was sketching. Eight hours into the competition, the contestants had honestly lost count of the number of hot dogs eaten. The hot dogs were wrapped in a pita like bun called a Snuggles which are made locally in Orlando by Toufayan Bakeries. Pittsburgh artist Dawn Weleski, acted as the MC. She would periodically interview members of the audience. She would ask the audience member to sit in the blue chair to the left of the staging area and then ask them to wear an Uncle Sam hat and white beard. Brian's mom and sister showed up late in the competition to watch the relaxed proceedings. Another announcer named Gordon Winiemko took the mic and decided to MC shirtless. He threw the sweaty shirt right at me and I caught it and then didn't know what to do with it. Putting it on the table would be unsanitary yet dropping it on the floor would be rude. I decided to drop it on the table, and the two girls eating salad right next to me didn't seem to mind.
From here Terry and I headed downtown for the Lake Eola Fireworks display. There, during the fireworks show one mortar must have fallen over because it fired off not into the air, but straight across the lake at the audience. It blew up just yards from the shore sending hot embers showering over the crowd. I do not think anyone was hurt.