Grabbing a smoked turkey leg and meandering around the Wilson County Fair-Tennessee State Fair is a time-honored tradition, but for a handful of contestants on Wednesday, it became a race against time to gobble them down the fastest.

Competitive eating is a staple at American carnival events. Probably the most notable is the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, which draws viewers much like a high-stakes sporting event and has made household names out of Joey Chestnutt and Kobayashi.

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