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July 4th forecast: ‘Chili’ at City Tavern during Downtown Fort Myers Freedom Fest

By Staff | Jun 13, 2017

No matter what the weather will be like come Independence Day, it’s going to be a bit “chili” at City Tavern’s first-ever Chili Dog Eating Competition to be held at 6 p.m. at the WINK Freedom Festival on the corner of Dean Street and Bay Street.

Join in the July 4th fun as competitors scarf down as many chili dogs as possible in just 10 minutes.

The inaugural Chili Dog Eating Competition is limited to 20 competitors. Participants will receive event T-shirts and trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place for the most chili dogs consumed.

Entrants currently include local American Legion Post Commander Kevin Boyd, as well as local police officers, firemen, business owners and veterans. Boyd is also the President of the River

District Alliance in downtown Fort Myers where City Tavern owner, Kevin Offerman is a board member.

All proceeds from the City Tavern festivities including food and beverage items, T-shirt sales and cash donation buckets will benefit American Legion Post 38, at 1857 Jackson St. in Fort Myers.

“The American Legion depends on member participation, volunteers and the community to be successful in providing the services it provides,” said Commander Boyd in a prepared statement.

One very special veteran, Kenneth Hansen, 92, will be participating in the event. Hansen fought in both the Korean War and World War II as a Naval Aviator. Hansen is the grandfather of Kevin Offerman.

“When asked to compete in the chili dog eating contest, my Grandfather told me he could only eat one hot dog but he would be honored to participate in the event. I’ve thanked my Grandpa for his service and told him he’s a hero many times and his response is always the same as he tells me he was simply doing his job,” said Offerman.

City Tavern has teamed up with its title sponsor, Legendary Automotive and Truck Service LLC.

Owner Jason Stretch has hosted a similar event in the past in New Hampshire.

“I am hoping to create more awareness in the Fort Myers community of the unacceptable amount of veteran suicides which happen every day. These service men and women have fought to protect our freedom and they deserve all the help we can provide them,” Stretch said in the statement.

Additional City Tavern sponsors include Suncoast Beverage, Gordon Food Service, Coastal Paper, Tech-Tronics, NAPA Auto & Truck Parts, Coastal Building Consultants, St. Michael

Lutheran Church & School and Bella Signs.

The WINK Freedom Fest hosted by Fort Myers Pest Control in downtown Fort Myers between Bay St. and First St. kicks off at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th. The free, six-hour Motor Show and Fireworks Celebration will showcase a variety of motor vehicles dressed in their patriotic best, live entertainment, attractions, kid’s activities and more. The celebration will culminate with a spectacular fireworks show over the Caloosahatchee River.

To become a contestant, contact City Tavern General Manager Julianne Adkins at info@mycitytavern.com.

For more information about the events hosted by City Tavern including the Chili Dog Eating Competition, contact Kevin Offerman, (239) 226-1133 kevin@mycitytavern.com

For more information about the Freedom Fest Event overall, visit www.FreedomFestFortMyers.com or contact Katrina Salokar at 239-470-5611.