BROKEN BOW—Five minutes. Eight competitors. As many hot dogs as they could scarf down. Only one man will be named the winner…It was a stiff competition on Thursday night in the city square as Bruning State Bank hosted its hot dog eating contest during the Broken Bow Crazy Days and Third Thursday celebrations.
Paul Stefani managed to eat 12 hot dogs—including the buns—within five minutes and was named winner of the contest.
“Let me get down here to the champion—the champion of the hot dog eating contest!” Brent Apperson exclaimed during the live event play-by-play.
“I’ve never been more proud or disgusted in my whole life. They were delicious. I’ll probably go home and sleep it off,” Stefani said.
Each worthy opponent prepared for the contest in their own way, with one having practiced beforehand. Others dunked their hot dogs in water or ate the meat first before tackling the buns.
“I bet this is the last hot dog I eat for a while,” Chad Garcia said. Jose Garcia finished 10 hot dogs and said he would “most definitely” eat another hot dog in the future. Mike Evans said he has great respect for not only Joey Chestnut, but also Broken Bow grand champion Paul Stefani.
Local EMTs were also on the scene, ready to assist the competitors. The emergency officials said being on call at a hot dog eating contest was a first for many of them, but they were prepared to implement the Heimlich Maneuver as necessary.
Just down the road, Schmick’s Market hosted a Beat the Butcher contest where three competitors cooked ribeye steaks to grilled perfection. Shawn Morris came out victorious and won a Traeger tailgate grill.
The Crazy Days and Third Thursday events brought a strong crowd to the square, including food trucks and local vendors selling homemade crafts and fresh produce.
The Broken Bow Lions Club is currently raising funds for a Lions drinking fountain to be placed in the park. With the help of Grocery Kart, Lions members served burgers, chips, and drinks to patrons as a fundraiser raising just shy of $800, according to Lions President Stephanie Evans.
“We are extremely fortunate to have such a generous community! On behalf of the Lions Club we are very excited to purchase this water fountain for the park!” Evans said.