American Coney-eating contest returns, champ retires

A new champ will be crowned Thursday evening after a charity battle among Detroit Police, Detroit Fire and Windsor Fire departments

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A new champion will be crowned at this year’s Coney Dog Eating Challenge at American Coney Island on Thursday evening.

Plymouth’s Matt Holowicki, the three-time champion, has decided to retire and will instead serve as one of the annual competition’s celebrity judges. Last year he broke his 2015 record of 191/2dogs by scarfing down a full 20 coneys in 10 minutes.

Holowicki will judge, along with another former champ, DeSean “Whipdog” Whipple.

The person who eats the most chili, onion and mustard covered hot dogs in 10 minutes will not only get bragging rights and a championship belt, but also a year of free meals at American Coney Island and a variety of prizes from local businesses. Register in advance for $10 or on site for $15.

Before the big meal, members of the Detroit Police, Detroit Fire and Windsor Fire departments will chow down for a three-way battle to see which can swallow the most dogs in a group challenge.

The contest among men and women in uniform starts at 5:30 p.m. at the 100-year-old coney restaurant at 114 W. Lafayette in downtown Detroit. The main battle follows at 5:45 p.m. All are invited to spectate, for a suggested $5 donation.

Process from registration frees, plus a portion of the day’s sales and donations collected, will benefit the Detroit Police Fund and Detroit Firemen’s Benevolent Fund.

Register by calling (586) 219-0995. Visit for more information

Twitter: @melodybaetens