NEW YORK (KSNW) — Joey “Jaws” Chestnut put a protester in a chokehold while gobbling his way to a 15th win Monday at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, powering down 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual exhibition of excess.
A spectator wearing a Darth Vader mask rushed the stage, momentarily disrupting the competition. Chestnut put the protester in a brief chokehold before contest officials hurried over and escorted the intruder away.
Another protester in a white stormtrooper mask had also snuck behind the competitors and hoisted a sign saying, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.” Smithfield manufactures Nathan’s famous hotdogs.
After the altercation, Chestnut went back to the task at hand: Devouring more hot dogs.
Monday marked the contest’s return to its traditional location outside Nathan’s flagship shop in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. The event was relocated in 2020 and last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.