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IW Sonic looks for a record

It’s sure to be a dog-eat-dog event today.

The reputations of Isle of Wight’s law enforcement and public safety officials will be at stake as they go head-to-head to see who can take home the trophy and honor of eating the most chili-cheese hotdogs.

“I hand-picked these guys, who’d unlock their jaw and swallow some hotdogs for the honor of the Sheriff’s office,” Isle of Wight Sheriff Deputy Tim Phipps said. “We’re rookies in the area of hotdog eating, but we’ve got a lot of heart.”

The Isle of Wight Sheriffs Office is sending a five-man team to compete against teams from the Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department, Smithfield Police Department and Isle of Wight Rescue Squad at the event hosted by Sonic at noon. The contest will be preceded by an attempt to build the world’s largest hotdog at 11 a.m.

“It doesn’t require anything special, just a lot of speed and skill,” said Lee Wilson, the Carrollton Sonic franchise owner. “We have a new extra-long hot dog that just came out this month, and I thought we’d try to construct the world’s longest hotdog in 12-inch increments. When it’s all done, it should be about 150 feet.”

Wilson said building the hotdog this year will serve as practice for next year, when representatives from the Guinness World Book of Records will come out to take official measurements.

While the hotdog contest would prove a challenge for any seasoned eater, Phipps is confident his team will be able to eat at least 50 feet of hotdogs and take home the trophy.

“My interview process was ‘Do you like hot dogs?’ and that settled the question,” Phipps said. “My guys have stamina, focus and fortitude. We’ll take at least 50 feet of it, although I know we’re going up against some stiff firemen who know how to eat.”

The day will also include a car, truck and motorcycle show, music and dance groups, boat demonstrations, face painting and games.

“We’ll be giving away trophies for our car, truck and motorcycles shows,” Wilson said. “We also have the ‘music wagon’ coming. It’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen. It’s animated and has music.”

In case anyone would need more reason than food, cars, a record-setting hotdog and the opportunity to see local men establish their honor over chili dogs, Sonic is also celebrating the launch of the Lemon Drop Slush, a new drink in four states.

“It tastes just like the old lemon drop candy,” Wilson said. “It’s fresh lemon and Splenda, so it’s not filled with sugar. It’s been one of our hottest drinks for our hot days.”

As there will be plenty of medics on scene, Phipps said as long as they have plenty of trashcans his men will be good to go.

Sonic is located at 13450 Carrollton Boulevard.