July is National Hot Dog Month…that much we know for sure. It has been celebrated as such for many years, and it makes sense why July would be the month dedicated to the hot dog: it’s the middle of the grilling season which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day when Americans are expected to eat seven billion hot dogs. Plus, it’s the month of Independence Day, a time when Americans will eat 150 million+ hot dogs. Why wouldn’t they…it’s the all-American food.
The actual date of National Hot Dog Day seems to have become more of a mystery, though. For at least 20 years, the American Meat Institute and National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) have celebrated National Hot Dog Day on the third Wednesday of July which fell on July 17th this year. That’s the day of the annual AMI Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill. However the internet tells a different story. It seems to believe that National Hot Dog Day is one of many days. For example,
- July 23rd a number of convenience stores including 7-Eleven, Sunoco, Kangaroo Express are offering free or discounted hot dogs.
- July 23rd Kayem is announcing the winner of its “Next Fenway Frank” contest
- July 22nd the Washington Nationals offered a $1 hot dog night to celebrate
- Epicurious noted Hot Dog Day as the 20th with several recipes
- Sonic even dedicated a commercial to it’s July 23rd Hot Dog Day special
All the different celebrations make for a great deal of confusion. In fact we’ve had several members of the media call us at the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and ask what’s the deal? It’s tough to tell exactly how we got to this point of mass Hot Dog Day confusion, but our theory is that it caught on several years ago when Hot Dog Day happened to fall on July 23rd. Rather than recognizing it as the third Wednesday of July, it was recognized as the date itself. That’s why we see others celebrating it on several days within the same time frame.
So what’s the solution to the Hot Dog Day confusion? At the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, we celebrate Hot Dog Day everyday, and we hope you do too, but of course daily hot dog specials won’t cut the mustard for a business. So we support Hot Dog Day whenever people want to celebrate it. After all, the hot dog is an unpretentious food to be enjoyed by everyone, whether on the third Wednesday of July, July 22nd, 23rd or any day or time of the year.