Every year on our nation's birthday, a grand tradition takes place that our Founding Fathers would surely smile upon were they here to witness it for few other activities truly showcase why the United States of America is great.

We're talking, of course, about hot dog eating contests.

We'll be hosting our own hot dog eating contest at this year's Fireworks & Freedom Celebration at the Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview. We'll have categories for men, women and children but there's a catch: Only the first five (5) entrants will be able to compete, so you'll want to make sure you turn in your registration as early as possible.

How do you register? It's simple. Just download, print, and fill out the form found at this link. Then, be one of the first five people in each category to turn in the form and, blammo, you're good to go.

So what do you win if you manage to cram more hot dogs and buns down your gullet than anyone else? It's winner-take-all for each division and they'll take home the following:

Men's Division:

Lake Palestine Resort - $155 gift card (for room and food)

Shogun Restaurant in Tyler - $50 gift card

Two (2) Tickets to Schlitterbahn (valued at $50 each)

Women's Division:

Lake Palestine Resort - $155 gift card (for room and food)

Shogun Restaurant in Tyler - $50 gift card

Two (2) Tickets to Schlitterbahn (valued at $50 each)

Kids Division:

A Family Pack of four (4) Six Flag Tickets valued @ $70

Pumped and ready to compete? Cool! Here's the rules:

1. Entries will be limited to the first five (5) contestants in each category: Men (16 and older), Women (16 and older) and Children (age 12-15).

2. All contestants must be registered and checked in at the Multicultural Stage by 2 p.m. the day of the competition, Monday, July 4.

3. The object is to eat as many hot dogs and buns as possible within the time limit, with water as the only beverage. Water will be provided to all contestants.

4. Each contestant will be given ten (10) hot dogs to begin, with more provided should the contestant finish that allotment within the time limit.

5. Contestants will wait for the signal to start, and a stopwatch will be used.

6. The allotted time for eating is two (2) minutes.

7. Dunking and crunching the hot dog and bun is allowed.

8. Separating the hot dog and bun to eat them individually is allowed.

9. Contestants must not touch any hot dogs or buns until the starting signal.

10. Winner will be determined by whomever finishes with the best time OR whomever has eaten the most hot dogs and buns within the allotted time.

11. The judges will determine the winner of the contest, not the participants. Judges' decision will be final.

12. Any contestant caught breaking any of the above rules will be disqualified.