The Fischers hand out Hobo Day hot dogs, free food for passersby


The Fischer’s house on 5th Street and 6th Avenue. They will hand out hot dogs for passersby on Hobo Day.


Many people celebrate Hobo Day by bumming a meal or walking in the parade. 

But for the Fischer family, it’s celebrated by passing out hot dogs.

 Six years ago Heidi Fischer made the impulsive decision to hand out hot dogs on Hobo Day to strangers while she and her friends were grilling outside. Since then, her home has been known as the “Hot Dog House” by all who have visited.

“I think it was 2010 when we started and it was just the one girlfriend. I said, ‘You know, it’s a nice night and let’s just give out hot dogs. It’ll be fun,’” Heidi said.

Fischer had so much fun the first year, she decided to continue it as an annual tradition. She, along with her friend group she calls the Gaggles, usually serve around 100 hot dogs each year.

Her husband, Jeff Fischer, has no part in passing out hot dogs. It’s done completely by his wife and her friends.

“It got to where a lot of these people know about this,” Jeff said. “It’s all the girls. I’m just security. And she’ll send me to the store to get more [hot dogs].”

The event has come a long way since its beginning, according to Heidi. The first year they distributed plain hot dogs on forks. Over the next couple years, she has added buns, ketchup and mustard.

“We tried little rice krispies one year but that didn’t go over so well,” Heidi said. “We put them in little paper cups, like those mini cupcake cups, and it was a nuisance. Most kids are practically eating the paper because, you know, they’ve had a little too much to drink.”

Every Hobo Day, the Gaggles intend to add something new to the hot dog handout.

“This year I’m going to add water, and maybe music. Maybe more mothering, too. We’re good at that. We do a lot of mothering,” Heidi said.

Besides the entertainment and fun, the hot dog house gives students a place to check in. Often, students walk up to the house unaware of what street they are standing on. Heidi takes this chance to talk to students and, as she says, “mother” them by reminding them to be good, not drink too much and be careful.

Through their hot dog distribution, Heidi and her friends have served SDSU rivals, a wedding party and chased students for stealing a friend’s drink.

The Fischers’ yard has become a hangout spot for SDSU students on Hobo Day night. Throughout the night, students will stand in their yard socializing and eating hot dogs. The Fischers like that students meet new people and are safe.

Matilyn Kerr, a 2015 SDSU graduate, came across the house last year while out with friends.

“It was by pure chance that we were walking by there,” she said. “We’re planning to try and stop by to say ‘hi’ because we met them last year. But it was literally an oasis out in the middle of nowhere during Hobo Day.”

The Fischers have never promoted their handout, relying on organic growth and word of mouth. It is an understated tradition among students who happen to stumble upon it.

“If you come by here as a freshman,” Jeff said, “you’ll come by as a sophomore, junior and senior.”

The hot dogs will be on the grill from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. on the 500 block of 6th Ave.