Barts Drive-In has served a lot of chili dogs over the years but Saturday could set a one-day record. That’s because competitive eater Jamie “The Bear” McDonald is coming to town to take on all challengers in a chili dog eating contest to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief. McDonald, of Granby and a relative newcomer to the sport, said he expects to eat 25 to 30 of Bart’s chili dogs. They’re good, they’re big,” said McDonald a 36-year-old body builder. “It all depends on how my stomach handles the chili.”
McDonald, the 2012 All Professional Eating organization’s rookie of the year who won 20 of 25 contests he ha entered, said competitive eating is much like body building in that a lot of training is necessary. To prepare for a contest and stay in competitive eating shape, McDonald said he sometimes eats 4 to 5 pounds of vegetables in a single sitting and then drinks as much water as he can. “It’s uncomfortable, but it works,” said McDonald, who has eaten 39 hot dogs, bun included, in an 8 minute period and has also eaten 9.75 pounds of fried peach pies in 8 minutes in competitions.
Bart’s owner Mayor Donald Trinks said Thursday that the contest has been the talk of the town over the last several days.The restaurant, he said, usually sells as many chili dogs on a busy summer day as he has set aside just for the contest Saturday.”We have 100 ready just for the competition,” Trinks said. “It’s going to be a wonderful carnival atmosphere.”
Saturday’s competition will begin at 1 p.m. and will be 20 minutes long. It is open to teams of up to three people. To register to enter or donate a prize for the raffle, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Cheryl McDonald at 860-878-2014. Proceeds will be given to theAmerican Red Cross to help victims of the hurricane in New York City.