“Gobbler”, a contestant in the Frankie’s hot dog eating contest waved a foot-long at the crowd. Gobbler was the only contestant to smear ketchup on his hot dogs.

Seventy five years ago brothers Frank and Paul Caiazzo launched Frankie’s Hot Dogs on South Main Street in Waterbury. Through the decades they survived tough economic times, and the Flood of 1955, which demolished their fast food restaurant. On Saturday June 23rd, 2012, the second generation of Caiazzos threw a 75th birthday party and took over Municipal Stadium for an afternoon of music, games, and their first hot dog eating contest. Part of the proceeds from the event went to P.A.L and the Waterbury Campership Fund.

Joey Caiazzo, one of the co-owners of Frankies got plenty of exercise Saturday afternoon delivering trays of 15 hot dogs to the contestants.

A contestant introduced as “Roach” came in second in the contest when he devoured  seven hot dogs and buns in the alloted five minutes.

A crowd of nearly 200 people cheered on the contestants.

Gobbler and Roach both took a deep breath after the contest.

‘Gentleman’ Joe Menchetti of Cheshire, left, was the winner of the hot dog eating contest. He finished off 11 hot dogs in five minutes. Introducing the champ was Joey Caiazzo, one of the co-owners of Frankie’s.