The Source Presents a “Hot Dignity Dog” of a “Dog Days of Summer” 4th of July!

When the City of Vero Beach invited The Source, known for their successful Dignity Programs for the homeless, to partner with them for a new two-part July 4th celebration at Riverside Park, the team at The Source put on their creative caps to generate an explosive day of fun in the sun for their premier “Dog Days of Summer.” The event preceded the City’s annual “Independence Day on The Indian River,” and individually, as well as collectively, the entire day from start to finish was a huge success! 

“Dog Days of Summer” kicked off the day with a full schedule of fun from 1:30p.m.-4:00 p.m. including children’s activities, a myriad of food trucks, hot dog competitions and live DJ Music by Edmund and Cathi of Nalzara Music, all while the lively and holiday-attired Tamara Darress, “The Parisian Hostess” emceed the proceedings from the main stage.

Throughout the event, seven booths set up by local businesses and organizations offered event- goers a choice of their best and most innovative hot dog as part of the “Top Dog Competition.” A distinguished panel of judges tasted and rated each hot dog for their texture, presentation and taste. In the end, The People’s Choice Award went to Mrs. Mac’s Fillin’ Station and The Top Dog Award went to Wilkes 14 Bones BBQ. The judge’s panel included Vero Vine/Vero Beach Marketing and Vero Foodie Stacy Cook, Christian FM’s Bruce Douglas, professional eaters Randy Santel and Katina DeJarnett, Vero Beach Mayor John Cotugno, Sihle Insurance Group’s Heaven DeMarie and popular food blogger & social media influencer Treasure Coast Foodie Tom Miller. 

No doubt, the piece de resistance of the day was the ‘Hot Dot Eating Contest’ that took place on the main stage with 15 hungry contestants competing for the title and the grand prize by devouring as many hot dogs as possible within a 15 minute time limit. An enthusiastic crowd cheered on the participants as they formed a human tunnel for each contestant to run through, and on to the main stage to prepare for their eating frenzy until the time clock chimed and the final announcements were made: Third Place winner with a total of 15 hot dogs eaten was Albert D’Errico; Second place winner with 21 hot dogs eaten was Katina DeJarnett  and top winner, within a slim margin of 22 hot dogs eaten, was Randy Santel.

Presenting Sponsors for the event included the presenting sponsorships by Sihle Insurance Group and The George Shinn Foundation. Other sponsors included Suzanne Chesser, George Hamner, Dr. Thomas & Joanne Balshi, Lionel & Kathy Lowry, Charles W. Sinclair, Emmett and Margaret Anne Evans, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Lindsey, Cindy O’Dare, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Lyles, James Ford Bell, Omega P.A., Jean and Gene Cravens, ABC Printing, Crown Painting, Christian FM, Tamara Darress, and Kountry Kitchen.

Wrapping up the all-day event was the annual City of Vero Beach’s offerings of live music by Johnnie & The Blaze, a mobile bar serving wine and beer, a Silent Auction of goods & services, Pie Eating Contests and a spectacular Fireworks Show by Zambelli Fireworks thanks to the yearly sponsorship by Mulligan’s Beach House & Grill, accompanied by synchronized music on 103.7 FM.

First and second place winners, Katina DeJarnett and Randy Santel had a blast at the contest and shared, “Together, and with the help of all the awesome attendees, we were able to support the homeless community around Vero Beach! Thank you all for cheering us on!”

Brian Mock of Wilkes 14 Bones BBQ added: “Everybody did such an amazing job at making this inaugural event such a huge success and I’m sure our community will be able to look forward to the Dog Days of Summer for many years to come.” 

For more information on “Dog Days of Summer” and The Source, contact Development Director Jonathan Orozco at 772-564-0202.

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