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It was a blustery tuesday afternoon, (that’s not true but I don’t remember what day it was and I’ve been told details are essential to hook your reader. I digress). The finals for Milo’s annual corn dog eating contest at the California State Fair were upon us and I had just been informed of a shortage of counters, you know, people that keep track of how many dogs have been gobbled down. Naturally, because I was present when this was announced, I was selected to stand in as a counter, a task I was rather nervous about since I don’t exactly have a stomach of steel and am prone to queasiness. But because I’m an intern, I of course exclaimed “Sure!” with confidence to mask any potential qualms.

We were then taken to the scene of the corn dog eating contest: the Promenade Stage. Contestants, consisting of mostly towering men and one petite woman named Molly Schuyler, were taking their spots. Us counters were planted behind our corresponding corn dog eaters. I immediately noted the barf buckets behind the tables. The beginning was near as the corn dogs were placed. Finally the countdown began and we were off to the races. Now there are some things in life you can’t unsee. Certain sights are burned into your brain forever, never to be erased. What I am about to recount to you falls under that category. Dogs were being shoved into gullets one after another. Contestants were dipping their dogs into various liquids. Water. Fruit Punch. Whatever moistened the dog enough to easily slide it down. Dogs were flying, the crowd was cheering, and contestants were of course, eating. And then there was me, counting. One dog two dogs… next thing I know, Molly was approaching double digits. Although I was trying with all my might to avoid looking at the competitors while simultaneously keeping count (refer back to the weak stomach remark), I couldn’t help but gawk in utter amazement at Molly’s technique. Somehow while throwing back dozens of dogs she maintained an elegance. Her strategy was so fine-tuned that it was hardly unpleasant to watch at all. While some of the other competitors were making an absolute mess, Molly dipped and devoured her dogs with a certain finesse. I couldn’t even focus on the guy I was supposed to be counting for with Molly in the vicinity. At the end of the eight minute corn dog competition, Molly had consumed a whopping 32 dogs. It was a victory if I’d ever seen one. She walked away from Milo’s corn dog eating competition as a champion with a cash prize of $2,500. But we all know the real victory was the fact that I didn’t ralph.

an image of the corndog eating contestan image of the corndog eating contest

If you’re interested in witnessing or participating in the riveting event I just described to you, you’re in luck. This Friday, July 21 at 6:00 pm at the Promenade Stage, the qualifying round for Milo’s Corn Dog Eating Contest is taking place. Entries are open until the contest occurs, but if you enter in advance your $10 entry fee includes two fair tickets and a parking pass. I recommend entering ahead of time because the entry price raises to $20 the day of the contest, and no longer includes the benefits. Find more information on our website. Following the qualifying round is the final competition, happening Saturday, July 22 same time and place. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Cash prizes are awarded to the first 5 contestants who place, from $100 all the way up to $2,500 smackaroos. If that’s not incentive enough, you’ll simply be blessed with the task of inhaling a pile of tasty Milo’s corn dogs. For the remainder of you faint-stomached readers interested in acting only as bystanders, there’s no doubt that you’ll leave this event with a corn dog tale of your own.


Written by Grace Becker