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Going to Coney on July 4?

The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest will begin with eater introductions at 12 Noon on Saturday, July 4, 2009, at the company’s flagship restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

The event will feature 20 total eaters from around the world, and will pit two-time champion Joey Chestnut against six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi. Kobayashi lost to Chestnut last year in an exhilarating five-dog overtime, but recently beat Chestnut in a head-to-head title match in Los Angeles.

Thinking of going to Coney Island on July 4 to watch the nathan's Famous contest? Some details you'll want to know:

In the past two years, more than 20,000 fans have come to the free event, arriving as early as 10 am. For these fans, Nathan’s Famous produces a pre-show from 10 am to 12 Noon. Nathan’s Famous also has secured a jumbotron to increase visual access for fans in the back of the crowd.

This year, the pre-show will feature four acts by the Ringling Bros. circus and musical acts including rapper Badlands Booker, local singer-songwriter Amos Wengler and the soul-inspired band, Xclusive with Sonni Dey.

In addition, there will be a neat-eating contest for children, a high-flying trampoline act, and The Coney Island Strong Man Deth-Defying Act of Strength. Event organizers urge viewer discretion on the Deth-Defying Act of Strength and will literally have clergy present in case The Coney Island Strong Man dies.

Those traveling to Coney Island by subway can take the D, F, N or Q to the Stillwell Avenue terminal. Those driving can take Exit 6, Cropsey Avenue, off the Belt Parkway and take Cropsey Avenue toward the south and the ocean, turning left at Surf Avenue.