Many consider the first Saturday in May as the day of the Kentucky Derby and it is not that they are mistaken. That day is also reserved for another diversionary event in Oklahoma that has nothing to do with races or horses, namely, the Annual El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival!
The year 1989 marks the birth of the fried-onion burger when it was first served at the El Reno Hamburger Inn. That was the first time the town began hosting a Fried Onion Burger Day, and more than two decades later, the festival draws some 30,000 to 40,000 visitors annually. It has also gained celebrity status among burger-friendly blogs and books. This year, for the first time, the Food Network will be filming a segment for a new show as well.
This festival is no one-trick-pony show. It will also feature a car and motorcycle display and live music. To commemorate the event by air, the Oklahoma Wing Commemorative Air Force will fly by.
Still, most people will be coming to see the burger that the local fire department will be cooking up. It is expected to be big enough to feed an 800-pound gorilla. The ingredients for this monster burger include: 250 pounds of beef, 150 pounds of onions and a bun of indeterminate size.
Locals chip in and lend a hand with this unusual creation. On the Thursday before Burger Day, Gilmore’s Pub will throw an onion-peeling party at 6:30 pm that is expected to last for two hours. Volunteers then turn in their onions to the fire department for slicing.
The fun begins May 7 at 6 am and shuts down at 6 pm. For those who aren’t quick enough and may miss a piece of the gorilla’s burger, they can get a bite from the Main Street Burger Booth.
Sounds like fun.
A case of ketchup anyone?