The highly esteemed National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has spoken, and their word is law: July 23 is National Hot Dog Day, so how are you celebrating?
Today, hot dogs are an essential part of American culture, from baseball franks to county fair coneys, it's safe to say that all red-blooded patriots in this country enjoy chowing down on their favorite style of dog from time to time. In fact, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council reports that in 2014, nearly one billion packages of hot dogs were sold in retail stores, and that number doesn't even take into account the more than 21 million hot dogs consumed at sports games, or purchases of frozen corn dogs--a personal favorite of mine.
But it wasn't always this way. Believe it or not, our founding fathers were not serving up Chicago dogs at that first fourth of July cookout. In fact, hot dogs didn't really take off in this country until the late 19th century. Despite having been invented by hungry German butchers way back in 1487, it was the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago that made them popular, as visitors from around the globe were introduced to the delicious dog, they suddenly realized just how convenient a sausage nestled in a fluffy bun could be for a meal on-the-go.
The rest is history, and whether you're a fan of the classic New York dog or the artisan San Fran frankfurter, I think we can all agree that the best hot dog around is the one you don't have to pay for. So in honor of this week's meaty holiday, here are all the places you can get a hot dog for free (or almost free):
Last year 7-Eleven celebrated National Hot Dog Day by offering a coupon for a free 1/8 pound Big Bite dog on their mobile app. We expect a similar coupon to be available this year, so you can download the app for iOS and Android devices here.
This Jacksonville, FL hot dog joint will have a buy one, get one free deal on dogs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 23.
This Norwood, NJ eatery is offering up free dogs to customers who come in on Thursday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Last year the ice cream and hot dog joint celebrated National Hot Dog Day with a $5 chili cheese dog meal. Check their Facebook page for more info on what's happening this year!
This hip new Portland, Oregon joint hasn't even opened yet, but they're having a menu preview on Thursday, where you can try all their hot new dog recipes for free--including trendy Portland-style dogs.
Select stores throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are offering free Ball Park hot dogs to members of the Armed Forces who show a valid military ID between 4 and 8 p.m, and non-military members can get their Ball Park hot dogs for just $0.50! This is a limited promotion, so call ahead to make sure your local Kangaroo Express is participating.
Philly Pretzel Factory restaurants are offering a free Pretzel Dog to the first 300 customers at each participating location.
Last year, QuikTrip released a link to a printable coupon for a free hot dog on its website. They are yet to release it this year, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for the release of this year's coupon.
Hot dog lovers can get a free dog through 7/31 when they print and present this coupon at participating RaceTrac locations.
The drive-in chain is offering its All-American or Chili Cheese Coney Dog for just $1. The All-American comes served with ketchup, yellow mustard, chopped onions, and relish.
Know any other places you can gobble up a dog for less on Thursday? Let us know in the comments!