More than 1,000 Capitol Hill lawmakers, staff, meat industry representatives and members of the media filled the Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard on July 18 to celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month at the American Meat Institute (AMI) Annual Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill.

“The Hot Dog Lunch is an annual AMI tradition. It is one of the most popular events on Capitol Hill, which is a testament to Americans’ enthusiasm for the hot dog,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. “We always look forward to hosting guests to celebrate this American food icon in the nation’s capital.”

Guests left with full stomachs as AMI projected it would serve more than 3,500 hot dogs, corn dogs, pretzel dogs, brats and other sausages from popular hot dog manufacturers including Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc., Farmland Foods, Hatfield Quality Meats, Hormel Foods Corporation, Kraft Foods (Oscar Mayer), Kunzler and Company, Hillshire Brands (Ball Park/Hillshire Farms/State Fair), Smithfield Foods, Inc., and Tyson Foods Inc.. All uncooked or pre-packaged leftover food was slated for donation to a local food bank.

The 2012 Hot Dog Lunch was co-hosted by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). The event was also sponsored by American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, DIAGEO, Hormel Foods Corporation (Chili), International Bottled Water Association, MillerCoors and Snack Food Association.

Attending this year’s lunch to greet fans, sign autographs and nosh on some dogs were major league baseball Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and former outfielder Willie Horton.

In coordination with National Hot Dog Month, AMI’s National Hot Dog & Sausage Council showcased the t-shirts with the winning slogans from its Hot Dog Slogan Contest. After receiving more than 225 entries from around the country, the slogan “Hot Dogs: Relish the Moment” submitted by Gadi Lefkowitz of Baltimore, MD, beat out seven other finalists in a Facebook poll.

Source: AMI