Celebrating one of Americans’ favorite grill items, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) gathered nearly 1,500 lawmakers, congressional staff, meat industry representatives and members of the media on Capitol Hill to honor July as National Hot Dog Month with the institute’s annual hot dog lunch.

“The Hot Dog Lunch has been an annual tradition for more than 40 years. This longstanding event celebrates America’s love of hot dogs—a love that crosses party lines,” said Barry Carpenter, NAMI president and CEO. “The lunch is one of the most popular and anticipated events on Capitol Hill, as guests join us to celebrate this iconic American food in the company of major league baseball greats.”

During the event guests enjoyed more than 3,500 hot dogs, corn dogs, brats and other sausages from popular hot dog manufacturers including Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc.; Dietz & Watson, Inc.; Hofmann Sausage Company, LLC; Hormel Foods Corporation; Land O’Frost, Inc.; Smithfield Foods, Inc.; and Tyson Foods, Inc.

This year’s lunch was co-hosted by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN). The event is sponsored by the American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, Diageo, Hormel Foods Corporation, International Bottled Water Association and Snack Food Association.

As a tribute to the relationship hot dogs share with baseball, attending this year’s event were some of baseball’s greats including Tony Perez, Bill Buckner and Mookie Wilson.

 As part of its celebration of National Hot Dog Month, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) gave hot dog fans a chance to choose their favorite bumper sticker slogan. NHDSC received more than 100 submissions and fans voted for their favorite finalists on the NHDSC Facebook page. Julie Burke, of Livonia, Michigan was selected as the winner this year for her slogan “What’s in YOUR Bun?”