Burger Fest

The Taste of Hamburg


Celebrating 130 Years

The 30
th annual Burger Fest will sizzle in the Village of Hamburg from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. in the Village of Hamburg on Saturday, July 18, marking the 130th birthday of the all-American hamburger created in Hamburg, NY at the Erie County Fair. Located along Main and Buffalo Streets (Rte. 62) and in the Municipal Parking Lot, the festival offers diverse entertainment for people of all ages.

The one-day festival includes live music beginning at noon on the Main Stage in the municipal lot along with other entertainment venues on Main Street. Rock ‘n Roll to the Rescue will entertain adjacent to the KeyBank Classic Car Show and Mike Margerum and the Nickel City Road Show will host children’s games and contests. A new event “Magic on Main Street” will showcase dancing, martial arts and other performances by local youth at 4:45 p.m. Children’s arts and crafts and inflatables will be found at Kids Space in the lot off of Main Street. Vendors, merchants and not-for-profit organizations will set up along Main and Buffalo Streets. The Burger Fest Arts and Crafts Show will also be found along Buffalo Street

Burger Fest celebrates the birth of the hamburger in Hamburg in 1885 and is hosted by the Rotary Club of Hamburg, the Hamburg Rotary Sunrise Club, the Kiwanis Club and the Lions Club. Hamburg held its first Burgerfest in 1985 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the hamburger after organizers discovered a history book detailing the burger’s origins. Frank and Charles Menches, vendors who traveled the world’s fair circuit, and who have been credited with also creating Cracker Jacks and ice cream cones, concocted the all-American burger. Descendants of the Menches brothers from Ohio, who remain in the food industry three generations later, have traveled to Hamburg to participate in several Burgerfest celebrations over the years, bringing along the secret recipe. In recent years, Imagine Hamburg volunteers have cooked up the tasty burgers in the true Menches tradition with the family’s guidance and blessing.

Legend has it that the Menches brothers ran out of their usual pork sausage that hot, fateful day at the fair and turned to local butchers to replenish their supplies. When no pork was available, a butcher suggested ground beef. The Menches brothers purchased the beef, but added secret ingredients, including coffee grounds to create a unique flavor. The hamburger was born!

The musical lineup for Burger Fest 2015 on the Main Stage will be the Terry Buchwald, noon to 2 p.m.; Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields, 2:30 to 4:30 and Passion Works, 5 to 7 p.m. Headliners Break Away will take the stage from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.