Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival returns | News
The Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival, which celebrates Athens as the Home of the Hamburger, will be returning this weekend with lots of food, vendors, cookoffs, contests, and more in downtown Athens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.
Bring your lawn chair and make a day of this family friendly event which will have vendors of all types surrounding the beautiful downtown square in Athens starting at 10 a.m.
There will be hamburgers of all kinds to consume made by different non-profit organizations, individuals, and businesses. Some hamburgers will be available for free and some will be available for a donation to a non-profit but all vendors do sell out. There will be other food trucks, snow cones, and ice cream as well.
All are encouraged to guess at the amount of pickles that will be in the large pickle jar. This event, sponsored by Harbor Hospice, will award $250 to the closest guesser.
The National Champion Cheer team from Trinity Valley Community College will be performing, as will the famous Cardettes, at around 10:30 a.m.
At 11 a.m. the Mooing Contest will take place which is always a fun event to take part in or listen to. The Corn Hole Tournament, sponsored by First State Bank, also begins at 11 a.m. and prizes will be awarded as $300 for first place, $150 for second, and $50 for third place.
Cookoff teams will submit entries to the judges table beginning at 11:30 a.m. This year holds some tight competition as past winners Callaway’s and TVCC under direction of Dr. Jerry Rogers will compete to win the title again.
Other cookoff competitors include Highway 19 North Volunteer Fire Department, Trinidad Volunteer Fire Department, and four other groups. Weinstein Law has committed to donating $1,000 to the volunteer fire department that wins the event.
Straight Tequila Nights will be performing all the best 90’s classic country hits for two hours on the main stage beginning at noon and the burger cookoff winners will be announced at 12:30.
McDonald’s will be sponsoring the Burger Eating Contest in which competitors will eat three double cheeseburgers or Big Mac’s in the quickest amount of time possible. This event begins at 1 p.m. and winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m. There will be a sign-up sheet and then 5 names will be picked from a jar to compete, so there will be a level playing field across the board of eaters.
At 2 p.m. the new Celebrity Hamburger Tasting Event will take place. This will take well-known people from the community who will be blindfolded and then will taste a hamburger and guess what restaurant it came from. The festival will conclude at 3 p.m.
The debate of whether the hamburger began in Connecticut, Wisconsin, or Texas is answered each time Athens hosts this festival celebrating the town as the birthplace of the hamburger. Although McDonald’s University does confirm that Fletcher Davis, from Athens, is the creator of the hamburger and that he did take it to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Jeff Weinstein, local attorney and main sponsor and coordinator of the Hamburger Festival, moved to Athens about 25 years ago and there was already a festival being held every year.
When he began to assist with the festival and for the five years prior to COVID, there would be crowds of 5,000 to 7,000 people. However, there has been a break since the last one was hosted in 2019, but with the beautiful weather expected for Saturday, there should be a great turnout for the return of the festival.
“There’s something for everybody,” said Weinstein in a radio interview on The Morning Sizzle on KLVQ. “Come support our local vendors, have a hamburger, enjoy some great live music, come together, and let’s just love one another for a couple of hours.”
For more information on the festival, visit www.unclefletchhamburgerfestival.com.