When we think of summer, hot dogs come to mind almost immediately. It’s just part of the overall experience. A summer day at the amusement park or at a baseball stadium pairs nicely with a hot dog (or tofu dog, for those of you who prefer a meatless version). Hot dogs don’t have to be made with meat, and anyone can enjoy the age old American favorite food any time of year. Sure, hot dogs can be purchased and enjoyed at any time of the year, however on July 23 is absolutely the day we hold them in the highest regard.
History of National Hot Dog Day
You should know some solid trivia about hot dogs, including knowing that the term itself was derived in the 19th century, at a time when German immigrants brought their own culinary traditions with them to the new world. It’s believed they brought to New York America’s first hot dogs, originally referred to as a dachshund sausage — for their long shape that resembled the beloved dachshund pups. Around 1870, Charles Feltman, a German immigrant, began to sell hot dogs out of a stand on Coney Island. He sold over 3,600 frankfurters in a bun that year alone.
While we cannot be completely sure how or even when National Hot Dog Day was created, we do know that the day was created as a nod to National Hot Dog Month in July by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council to highlight this fan favorite. Hot dogs became a household name in the late 19th century when casual food lover and baseball team owner of the St. Louis Browns — better known to some as the St. Louis Cardinals — Chris Von de Ahe brought the two together at his own amusement park.
Celebrating this day is fairly straightforward — just make your hot dog your way, and enjoy it however you’d like! Honestly, in the Dog Days of Summer, who doesn’t like a hot dog with all their favorite fixings?
Some take hot dogs beyond food form. There are also Weiner dog races and other relative, inclusive festivals to consider. We very strongly encourage you to indulge away!
National Hot Dog Day timeline
Hot Dog Day was first celebrated by students in Alfred, New York. As you might have guessed, the hot dog’s affordability is something that many in school favor. They are also pretty easy to find. In fact, some students celebrated hot dogs for an entire week.
Ball Park Franks
Hot dogs and baseball were officially paired together in St. Louis by the owner of the St. Louis Browns, a team now known as the St. Louis Cardinals. He also distributed them at an amusement park he owned.
Coney Island Dogs
Charles Feltman begins selling sausages in rolls on Coney Island in New York.
- 13th Century
Frankfurter Wuerstchen are distributed in Germany on the eve of imperial coronations.
National Hot Dog Day FAQs
Where is National Hot Dog Day celebrated?
It can be celebrated anywhere you are. All you need is a hot dog, some toppings (if you don’t prefer it plain) and a hungry belly.
When did hot dogs start selling on the streets?
Hot dogs were originally sold at street vendors in New York City as early as the 1860s by German and Polish immigrants.
How many hot dogs are sold annually?
Over 9 billion hot dogs are sold each year in the United States. Americans eat approximately 155 million hot dogs every July 4th.
National Hot Dog Day Activities
Have your hotdog your way
There are plenty of ways to enjoy a good hot dog. Seriously, the only rule of the day is to make your favorite hot dog your way, as many times as you like. That means, you can have beef, turkey, or tofu, with mustard, relish, ketchup. Grill it, boil it, or put it in the microwave. Outside feedback or input isn’t required...your preferences dictate your enjoyment.
Hot dog parties are a thing
Did you know that you can celebrate National Hot Dog Day with a party? Yes, it is true. Throw a festival or a small-level soiree with your favorite hot dog. You already know that we like a good party, so throwing one in honor of our favorite foods is an idea we absolutely endorse.
Get a ball park frank
Hot dogs have long been paired with baseball games. So, if you find yourself in a baseball stadium that day, we’d strongly encourage you to enjoy one with the game.
5 Facts About Hot Dog Day That Will Blow Your Mind
7-Eleven Sells millions a year
In 2014 alone, 7-Eleven sold well over 60 million hot dogs in their store and in 2017, the store chain sold over 100 million hot dogs.
Condiments make a hot dog thrive
Of all the toppings you can add to a hot dog, mustard comes in first as the most popular hot dog condiment, followed by ketchup and chili, respectively.
Sports and hot dogs go together
Over 26 million hot dogs are sold annually at baseball stadiums in the United States, one of America’s favorite past times.
A street vendor favorite
From New York City, to Chicago, to Philadelphia, you can find a hot dog on most street corners.
On this summer holiday, over 155 million hot dogs are reportedly consumed.
Why We Love National Hot Dog Day
They are a testament to American innovation
While the deep origins of the hot dog can be traced back to either Frankfurt or Vienna (we’ll let them slog it out for the title of true originator), the American hot dog dates back to the 1860’s, when German immigrants started selling them from stands in New York City. Splash of ketchup here, little bit of mustard there, and you’ve got the birth of the American hot dog.
They offer endless variety
In the mood for an all-beef Chicago dog loaded with toppings on a poppy seed roll? Or are you more of a Texa Chili Dog kind of person? Perhaps the basic, original New York dog is all you’re looking for. Regardless, wherever you are in the country, you can try a unique variation on this once-German/Austrian (whoever you want to believe) tradition.
Anyone can cook a great hot dog
If you need a quick and easy meal this summer, look no further. Boil them, grill them, heck, eat ’em cold as long as they’re precooked. It’s the simplicity and affordability that makes them such a great summer snack. Who wants to stress over what to cook anyway?
National Hot Dog Day Featured Video
National Hot Dog Day