The Worcester Hotdog Safari is something that started when Tom Mahoney and his friends were kids. At the end of each summer, Tom, along with his friends and their dads would pile into a few beat up pick up trucks and head out to sample Worcesters’ many hot dog trucks, carts and shacks. Armed with handmade scorecards and a lot of big appetites, they would decide which hot dog place was their favorite. This end of summer ritual was a great way to have fun with friends, both new and old, and a great way for kids and their dads to spend some special time together.
Time has passed, some of these old friends have moved, some are married and some are still the kids they were back then. But they all keep in touch in one way or another and a few years ago, the idea was hatched to bring back the Worcester hot Dog Safari!
Today while many of the elements of the original safari are still there, a few things are a little different. Some of the faces have changed, the sheer numbers have grown and what once was a way to spend time goofing with friends and family has evolved into a city wide event that raises money for a very important organization, the Worcester County Food Bank.
The Worcester Country Food Bank provides food for thousands of families throughout central Massachusetts. Each year we sell Worcester Hot Dog Safari merchandise (hats, shirts, and stickers) and ask participants to donate $5.00 to enter with all entry costs donated directly to the Worcester Country Food Bank.
The spirit of the safari is always to become bigger and better each year. They want to bring in new people from all over to share in their tradition so one day it may become their tradition as well. They want to celebrate Worcesters’ history and businesses, new and old, and they want to give back to the community….And most of all they want to have fun!
This year the Worcester Hot Dog Safari will take place August 15th starting at Noon at the Dogfather at 84 Holden Street. Once you get your card, you are off to check each restaurant off of your list and end at Coney Island Hot Dog. All proceeds from the sale of merchandise and donations goes directly to the Worcester County Food Bank.