Mukilteo adds hot dog-eating contest to Lighthouse Festival

Coney Island is famous for its Nathan’s hot dogs and its hot-dog eating contest. Joey Chestnut holds the record for downing 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

There’s the challenge for competitors in the first hot-dog-eating contest sponsored by the Lion’s Club this weekend at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival.

The hot-dog-eating contest adds just a bit more flavor to the festival, which offers family entertainment along with an art show. Entertainment includes the Battle of the Bands, a fishing derby, a kid and grand parade, fireworks — and a fudge-sculpting contest.

The Mukilteo Lions Club decided to sell hot dogs this year instead of its pancake breakfast — which has been taken over by the Boy Scouts — because they thought it would help raise awareness for their service club and boost attendance on Sunday, which tends to be a slower day at the festival, said Janet Hammerman who is doing publicity for the festival this year.

“They thought they would try something different and felt like hot dogs are a well-loved food,” Hammerman said, adding the club will sell hot dogs from its truck throughout the festival.

The hot-dog-eating contest starts at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Entertainment Main Stage. Entry fee is $20.

In addition to hot dogs, the festival has lots of food vendors. But if you prefer to “play” with your food in creative ways, the festival holds the Fudge a Muk contest in which participants get a pound of fudge and 45 minutes to carve a sculpture, which is judged as an art project.

The contest has a variety of categories, from professional to kids category, Hammerman said.

The Mukilteo Chocolate Company provides the fudge and a T-shirt “as a gift to the community,” Hammerman said. The contest starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Besides the Battle of the Bands and other main stage music and performing arts, there will be an instrument petting zoo put on by the Gene Nastri School of the Arts from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Lighthouse Park. Children and adults get a chance to try out many different types of instruments and get a feel for how they are played and sound.

The festival this year offers a kids corner with a bouncy house, a rock-climbing wall and obstacle courses.

“This year I think we have more of a focus on kids,” Hammerman said.

There’s also a children’s parade and grand parade Saturday, starting at 10:30 and 11 a.m. respectively at Chennault Beach Road and Harbour Pointe Blvd.

“It will be fabulous for kids,” Hammerman said. “I think that was a missing piece and now we’re trying to appeal to everybody, something for every single person.”

Hammerman thinks this year’s festival traffic will be better handled with more free shuttles.

There is no on-site parking for visitors. Shuttle buses will run from Olympic View Middle School, 2600 Mukilteo Speedway, Mukilteo, and Kamiak High School, 10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd, Mukilteo, throughout the festival.

There will be at least 10 buses staged at the park on Saturday night after the fireworks show to zip visitors home.

You can also pick up free bus tickets in advance to take Community Transit buses from Providence Medical Group, 4112 Harbour Pointe Blvd. SW, Suite 100).The Mukilteo Lighthouse festival starts Friday night and runs through Sunday at Lighthouse Park, 609 Front St., Mukilteo. For more information go to mukilteolighthousefestival.com/.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.

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