Kick off the official Worcester start of summer on June 15th for the Rumble at Ralphs at Ralph’s Rock Diner with a triathlon of events for only the most serious athletes. Presented by the Worcester Hot Dog Safari, the day begins at 11AM with the Heavy Metal Flea Market, followed by the Top Dog Eating Contest beginning at 2PM, Beyond Wrestling on the patio at 4PM, and a dance party with the Glitter Boys at 8PM. A true test of endurance that will challenge even the most serious athletes.

I had the absolute privilege of speaking with Hot Dog Safari organizer Tom Mahoney, about this much anticipated event. Let’s start with the eating contest. “Competitors have ten minutes to eat as many hotdogs as they can, with the assistance of either water or beer to dip their buns,” Mahoney explains, “Our contestants in past years have ranged from serious competitive eaters, trying to get into the game to chill, I don’t think have finished the full hotdog in their life yet. So we’ve kind of spanned ages and things like that in the past.”

“We tried to get a lot of different judges involved in the Hot Dog Eating Contest. So some notable ones we’ve had have been Geoffrey Esper. He normally comes in number two or number three at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on Fourth of July,” says Mahoney. Esper, an Oxford native, came in second at Nathan’s last summer when he ate 48 hot dogs in ten minutes. 

Next up is Beyond Wrestling outside at Ralph’s, which is always an amazing event. This independent professional wrestling promotion has made Worcester the wrestling capital of the world with events like Americanrama, the Beyond Institute of Pro Wrestling, and of course, the Wrestling Open which is every Thursday forever at the White Eagle on Green Street. The card hasn’t been set yet, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for appearances by CPA, Fancy Ryan Clancy, and Love Doug. 

And last but never least, those beautiful, sparkly Glitter Boys will be spinning records on the patio so you can dance your face off. “They’re all old punks who used to play in basements in Worcester and stuff like that for decades,” Mahoney says, “So they have an attachment already to Worcester. Like the Safari, everything is just kind of been getting bigger each year. We had a ton of people last year and the year before, so I’m hoping for a huge turnout. And I think with Ashley doing all the pop up stuff, it will  create more of a walking atmosphere and you know, be all encompassing.”

Tickets to Beyond Wrestling are $20, the Glitter Boys are $20 as well but a wrestling/Glitter Boys combo is just $30. Embrace your inner top dog and kick off the summer in the most Worcester way possible: watching people shovel hot dogs into their faces, indie wrestling and a glittery dance party.