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Nathan's Famous July 4 Fan Guide

Those fans planning to attend the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest -- held at Nathan's Famous on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island -- will want to arrive early.

The pre-event entertainment, featuring the clog-dancing troupe, Clogtastica!, rapper Eric "Badlands" Booker, and The Gaskets -- is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am. In past years, fans have begun to assemble at 10 am, and those seeking premium spots have arrived as early as 9:30 am.

The recruiting booth in the middle of Stillwell Avenue has been taken down, allowing the elevated media stage to be moved directly back 30 feet. This move opens up line of site for fans, who will be able to stand directly in front of the stage. There also will be much less to obstruct views for those in the back.

For those on mass transit, take the subway -- D, F, Q, N -- to the final stop, Stillwell Avenue. You will not be to miss it from there. Those driving will want to take the Belt Parkway to Exit 6, Cropsey Avenue, and head south toward the water until you hit Surf Avenue. Take a left and you will see Nathan's on the right at Stillwell Avenue.

Other attractions in Coney Island include the Cyclone and Coney Island USA, with information available at www.ciusa.com.

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