4.  The Hot Dog Eating Contest Began As a PR Ploy

The hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s is now world-renowned, but not many people know of its original intention: a public relations stunt. As Justin Rivers, our Secrets of Coney Island tour guide explains “Nathan’s grabbed some people and had them sit at a table to stage a hot dog eating contest. It was by suggestion of a neighborhood kid who went into PR: Max Rosy. He said if Nathan’s staged a photo op he could get into the Post.” Lo and behold, a defining tradition in western food culture began.