The Fourth of July is upon us! America's birthday is known for gathering with friends and family, barbeques, fireworks and of course, being thankful for living in the best country in the world! Two events that have become Fourth of July staples are the annual Nathan’s Coney Island hot dog eating contest and the Macy’s Fireworks show.

Nathan’s Coney Island has gone to the dogs!

If you have never heard of the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest, or the name Joey Chestnut doesn't ring a bell with you, where have you been?

Chestnut is a legend in competitive eating, and according to an ESPN report, on July 4 he listed as high as a -700 favorite to best the field and finish off the most dogs and buns during the 10-minute contest.

Yes, you can wager on the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest. When this competition first began back in 1972, no one could have imagined that it would grow in popularity as much as it has over the years.

Now this annual event not only plays in front of a national live audience on ESPN, it takes in large amounts of money in wagering.

ESPN indicates that for several years, a flurry of small bets, often $10 or $20 wagers, started showing up in the morning just before all the eating action took place. Now, by event time, it is not uncommon to see up to seven figures at stake.

You can catch every minute of the hot dog eating action live online by downloading the Watch ESPN app or ESPN3.

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The schedule breaks down this way: The women's competition will begin at 10:50 AM and air live on ESPN3. The men's competition is scheduled to start at noon ET and that portion will air live on ESPN2.

In case you are curious, the over/under number of hot dogs eaten by the winner is set at 70.5. That is 70 hot dogs consumed, with buns, in 10 minutes. Yikes!

Macy’s annual fireworks

What better way to conclude the holiday than with a huge fireworks display?

Since 1977 Macy’s has been lighting up the skyline in New York for millions of onlookers. The ooh's and ahh’s are an annual crowd reaction as Macy’s shows have grown bigger and better each year.

According to Macy’s official Fourth of July fireworks site, all of the action will kick off at 8 PM ET with live performances from Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, and Keith Urban.

If you can't make it to NYC to see the fireworks first-hand, right off the East River, don't worry, you can watch every colorful display light up the sky right from home.

NBC will air the 2018 Macy's Fireworks nationally starting at 8 PM ET. The show will also stream live online through NBC New York.com.

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