Plusquellic held his press conference at the Menches
Brothers Restaurant at Canal Park. The Menches family claims their ancestors, Frank and
Charles Menches, two brothers who lived and worked in Akron, invented the hamburger at the
New York State Fair in 1885.
The claim of who invented the hamburger, may finally be laid to rest at
this years event during the first-ever "Hamburger Hearings,"a mock trial
that will be conducted on the main stage at Canal Park during the weekend among
Akrons Menches clan and other contestants. It may turn out to be the Food Trial of
Seymour, Wisconsin says it was Charlie Nagreen who invented the sandwich in their town
that year. New Haven, Connecticut insists it was Louis Lasser who "flipped" the
first burger in 1900. Or, was it Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas, who did it first, in
1904? Each of them will make their case during the "Hamburger Hearings", while
their hometown delegations cheer them on.
At todays press conference, the Menches Brothers introduced their latest
invention, "The Coondog Burger" - - a 10 pound delicacy made with the original
Menches Brothers recipe from 1885 - - and named in honor of Akrons own
nationally-known competitive eater David "Coondog" OKarma. As part of his
training for the state of Ohio Hamburger Eating Championship to be held at the festival,
OKarma will attempt to consume this carnivorous monster in 10 minutes or less.
The National Hamburger Festival is the brainchild of Drew Cerza, president and CEO of
the RMI Promotion Group of New York, which also organizes the highly successful National
Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, NY. The 2005 "Wing Fest" drew nearly 69,000
visitors. RMI has a decade-long record of successful event management across the country.
"Akron is the perfect place for this great national festival," said Cerza.
"After all, Akron is an All America City and is home to the National
Inventors Hall of Fame. This summer Akron will be able to brand itself as the
"Hamburger Capital of the World".
Akron Childrens Hospital will benefit from net revenue raised from the festival
and will also provide volunteers who will work during the event. Monies raised will go to
the Campaign for Kids, the largest fund-raising initiative in the hospitals
history with a $100 million goal for hospital endowment, equipment, and programs.
The festival will feature more than twenty local and national restaurants serving their
hamburger specialties to thousands of festival attendees. Additional summer dishes and
Akron Food Favorites will also be available.
The festival will also offer live music, including Pirate Dreams - - the
ultimate tribute to Jimmy Buffett. There will also be childrens activities, a
cooking stage, and contests galore: the "Bobbing for Burgers" contest, the Miss
Hamburger Festival contest, and the Ohio Hamburger Eating Championship along with a Best
Burger challenge for both amateurs and competing restaurants.
Promoters of the National Hamburger Festival say that fans will certainly
"relish" tickets at a cost of $5.00 for adults and children 8 and older. Those 7
and under are admitted free.