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ESPN to feature Sheboygan's Brat-Eating World Championship

SHEBOYGAN -- Next month, world-class eaters will be converging on Sheboygan to compete in the Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship.

Sports cable giant ESPN will even produce its first-ever one hour special on the event.

Cory Bouck, the brand manager of fresh brats for Johnsonville, says this year's competition may be the best yet because of several well-known competitors.

He says last year there was only one "real marquee name:" a woman named Sonya Thomas, also known as the black widow.

However, he says this year's event is being touted as the "showdown in Sheboygan," where Thomas will face the number one competitive eater in America, a man from Japan named Kobayashi, and a "fantastic" rookie named Joey Chestnut.

He says three of the world's eating "super powers" are coming to Sheboygan to see who can eat the most brats.

However, novice eaters who might like to try their brat-guzzling mettle need not worry: the competition has two divisions.

The local division is open to anyone, while the professional division is sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eaters.

All profits from the Johnsonville Brat Days festival go to the Sheboygan Jaycees, which distributes funds to organizations such as Big Brothers - Big Sisters, the Sheboygan recreation department, and the Above and Beyond Children's Museum.