On the 4th of July, Americans will eat approximately 150 million hot dogs. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, that’s enough to stretch across the continental U.S. more than five times. A disproportionate number of those wieners will be consumed on Coney Island in New York, where competitive eaters at Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest will attempt to best Joey “Jaws” Chestnut’s record of 73 hot dogs on the men’s side and Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas’ feat of 45 on the women’s side. Perhaps it's not surprise, then, that July is considered National Hot Dog Month.
Here, in honor of America’s favorite tubes of miscellaneous meat and the eaters who enjoy them—competitively and recreationally—is a collection of photos of Americans stuffing their faces with hot dogs.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.