More than 1,000 lawmakers, congressional staff, meat industry representatives and members of the media filled the Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard on Capitol Hill to celebrate National Hot Dog Day and July as National Hot Dog Month at the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Annual Hot Dog Lunch.

“The Hot Dog Lunch has been an annual tradition for more than 40 years.  This longstanding event celebrates America’s love of hot dogs—a love that crosses party lines,” said NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter.  “The lunch is one of the most popular and anticipated events on Capitol Hill, as guests join us to celebrate this iconic American food in the company of major league baseball greats.”   

Guests ate more than 3,500 hot dogs, corn dogs, brats and other sausages from popular hot dog manufacturers including Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc.; Dietz & Watson, Inc.; Hormel Foods Corporation; Land O’Frost, Inc.; Johnsonville, LLC; Oscar Mayer Company; Smithfield Foods, Inc.; and Tyson Foods, Inc.  All uncooked or pre-packaged leftover food is being donated to Carpenter’s Shelter, a local food bank.       

Hot dogs and baseball are an American tradition and each year the Hot Dog Lunch pays tribute to this one-of-a-kind relationship. 

This year’s baseball greats included Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, who played all 19 of his years in the MLB with the Baltimore Orioles; Al “the Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky, a former reliever for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves and current color commentator on Cardinals regular season broadcasts on FSN Midwest. Softball Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch joined her baseball colleagues signing autographs for fans.

As part of its celebration of National Hot Dog Month, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) gave hot dog fans a chance to submit their favorite hot dog joke or limerick.  NHDSC received several submissions and fans voted for their favorite finalists on the NHDSC Facebook page. 

The winning entry came from Sam Beeson of American Fork, UT: “You can search all your Internet blogs, And your college’s course catalogues. But for facts about meat; No source can compete; With the Council for Sausage and Dogs!” Sam wins a $250 gift card for his favorite hot dogs.

The first runner up was submitted by Nicholas Henniger: “Some children were lined up in the lunch hall of a Catholic school for lunch. At the left side of the table there was a large tray of hot dogs. One of the priests said to the children ‘Take only one hot dog. God is watching over you.’ The other end of the table had a box full of chocolate chip cookies. One child whispered to another, ‘Take all the cookies you want. God is only watching the hot dogs.’” Nicholas wins a $100 gift card for his favorite hot dogs.

The second runner up joke was submitted by Gracie Evans: “What do you call a hot dog that loves to play in the snow? A chili dog!” Gracie wins a $50 gift card for her favorite hot dogs.

All three winners will also receive a NHDSC Wiener Warrior T-shirt and bumper sticker.

For more information about hot dogs and sausages, visit NHDSC's website at and Facebook page at  For hot dog videos including proper hot dog etiquette, visit our YouTube channel at

Source: NHDSC