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Akron, Ohio

Akron Fire Department to Defend their Title at the National Hamburger Festival on August 17-18 in Downtown Akron at Lock 3


City of Akron Press Release
Published: 08-14-2013

 Akron, Ohio (August 14, 2013) – The City of Akron invites the nation to come back for the Eighth Annual National Hamburger Festival presented by the City of Akron and Yancey’s Fancy Artisan Cheese Company.  After drawing more than 18,000 people last year, the fun, food and friendly competition will resume at Lock 3 on Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, complete with huge variety of hamburgers, live music and quirky burger-themed contests. Admission is just $5 with kids under 40” admitted free. The festival supports Akron Children’s Hospital.


This year’s presenting sponsor, Yancey’s Fancy Artisan Cheese Company, will have a large booth selling four different styles of cheeseburgers including: Buffalo Wing Burger, Killer Dill Cheddar Burger, Smoked Gouda Burger and Steakhouse Onion Cheddar Burger.  

“We are proud to be the official cheese of the National Hamburger Festival,” said Mike Wimble, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Yancey’s. “Yancey’s Fancy has many great flavors to offer and we want to let the public see for themselves our wild sliders!”  Yancey’s Fancy Artisan Cheese is also sponsoring the Cheesiest Couple contest and the Cheesy Dance-Off contest at the festival.

On Saturday, things will really get messy as three goggle-adorned enthusiasts go “Bobbing for Burgers,” in which the contestants seek foam hamburger patties in a kiddy pool filled with ketchup. A new Queen will be crowned at the Hamburger Festival Queen Pageant and the crowd will get a good laugh during the festival’s first Cheesy Dance-off. In the Ohio Hamburger Eating Championship on Saturday night, the 2012 champ Anthony Rees will have a big challenge as he goes up against Akron Firefighter Matt Askea, the 2011 winner and eight other local eaters.

On Sunday, the Akron Police Department will defend its title in the “Fire and Vice Hamburger Throwdown.” The competition features the Akron Fire Department versus the Akron Police Department in three events: hamburger eating, a burger cook-off and “bobbing for burgers.”  The competitive spirit will continue with the Baby Burger Contest followed by the Yancey’s Fancy Cheesiest Couple Contest, which has couples competing against each other by answering trivia questions and doing silly challenges in the hopes of being crowned the Cheesiest Couple of the festival.

Akron is the home of Frank and Charles Menches, who according to local lore invented the hamburger sandwich at the New York State Fair in 1885. Fueled by controversy among four cities who all claim to have invented the hamburger, a mock trial coined the “Hamburger Hearings,” was held the first year of the festival and resulted in a hung jury.  

“We are thrilled to have the National Hamburger Festival return to Akron for its eighth year,” said Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.  “We are the City of Invention, and that includes the invention of the hamburger.  We are excited that visitors come to Akron, year after year, to sample this delicious event and tour our city.”

          Still, the hunger for char-grilled glory pervades far beyond the inventors’ rivalry.  Restaurants will vie for bragging rights in four different categories of the National Burger Cook-Off. In addition to the more than 50 different hamburger varieties from 18 eateries, there will be other Akron-favorite foods served by restaurants set up on Main Street adjacent to Lock 3. 

The festival will feature live music.  Saturday afternoon Jon Mosey will entertain the festival crowd with a wide variety of music from folk to rock. Zach and the Bright Lightswill be performing in the early evening hours followed by a Saturday night concert featuring Separate Ways the Band: The Ultimate Tribute to the Music of Journey.

The festival is kid and family friendly, so don't be afraid to pack up the whole family for a family fun-filled day. i9 Sportshas planned a fun-filled day for the whole family including sports and arts & crafts. Face painting, temporary tattoos, and awesome sports challenges, including a football hoop toss, soccer goal kicks, baseball speed throws, and bean bag toss.Inflatable rides will also be set up inside Lock 3 Park. Nationally acclaimed Quiz Master, Dennis George will entertain all weekend with trivia shows and Family Feud shows with contestants from the crowd. Dennis Regling, considered one of the nation’s best strolling balloon artists will be bringing his talents to the festival for the fifth straight year.


“Northeast Ohio is the perfect place for this great national festival,” said Drew Cerza, founder of the event and president/CEO of Just Wing It Productions.  He cited Akron’s sense of Americana and housing of the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, branding the city the “Hamburger Capital of the World. Also, great attractions in the Cleveland area like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame make the festival a great road trip for out-of-town guests.”

          Additional information is available at

 2013 Hamburger Vendors

Backyard Kettle Korn                    Barley House

Bob’s Hamburg                           Eat n’ Park Restaurant

French Fry/Lemonade                 Green Machine Food Truck

Honey Gourmet/ Miller’s              Kona Ice

Krav Food Truck                         Legend’s Sports Pub

Max & Erma’s                             Menches Brothers

Midway OH Boy                          Quaker Corp.

Real Frùt                                    RetroDog

Smoke, the Burger Joint              Spinelli’s      

Steel Trolley Diner                       The Lockview

The Orange Trùk                         The Stray Dog Cart

White Castle



i9 Sports Kids Zone

The National Hamburger Festival is kid friendly, so don't be afraid to pack up the whole family for a family fun-filled day. i9 Sportshas planned a fun-filled day for the whole family including sports and arts & crafts. Check out the schedule below to take part in all the fun!


Saturday & Sunday

ALL DAY:  Face Panting, Temporary Tattoos, and awesome sports challenges including a football hoop toss, soccer goal kicks, baseball speed throws, and bean bag too. 

  •       Coloring Contest
  •       Water Balloon Toss
  •       Hula Hoop Contest
  •       Design A T-Shirt
  •       Cheer Clinic
  •       Crafts

2013 Event Schedule


Saturday August 17, 2013 - NOON - 11pm


12:00 - 8:00 pm- Family & Children's activities/entertainment

2:00 - 3:30 pm-   Live Music - John Mosey
3:30 - 4:00 pm-  "Bobbing For Burgers" Contest

4:00 - 5:00 pm-   Live Music - Zach and the Bright Lights

5:00 - 5:30 pm-   National Hamburger Festival Queen Pageant

5:30 - 6:30 pm-   Live Music - Zach and the Bright Lights

6:30 - 7:00 pm-   Ohio Hamburger Eating Contest

7:00 - 8:00 pm-   Live Music - Zach and the Bright Lights

8:00 - 8:30 pm-   Yancey's Fancy Cheesy Dance-Off Contest

8:30 - 9:30 pm-   Separate Ways the Band: The Ultimate Tribute to the Music of Journey

9:30 - 10:00 pm– Restaurant Burger Cook-Off Awards Ceremony

10:00 - 11:00 pmSeparate Ways the Band: The Ultimate Tribute to the Music of Journey


Sunday August 18, 2013 - NOON - 7pm

12:00 - 7:00 pm- Family & Children's activities/entertainment

1:00 - 3:00 pm -   Live Music - Grady/Miller Duo

1:00 - 1:30 pm-   Baby Burger contest                                                  

1:30 - 2:00 pm -   Yancey's Fancy Cheesiest Couple Contest          

2:00 - 3:00 pm-   Fire and Vice Hamburger Throwdown: Akron Police vs. Akron Fire

3:30 - 6:30 pm -   Live Music - The Low Country

5:00 - 7:00 pm-   Dennis George Original Variety Show




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