Sunday, August 10, 2008

Burgerfest in Seymour

It is storied that it was 1885 when Charlie Nagreen served the first hamburger: a flattened meatball between slices of bread. The place, they say, was Seymour, Wis.

The "Hamburger Charlie" statue in the town square.

Seymour is proud of their history, and for past 20 years they have celebrated it with a parade and festival. In 1989 the town set a Guinness World Record for the largest hamburger ever cooked: 5,520 pounds. More than 13,000 partook in that greasy, grilled delight.

Today, the day is filled with activities, including a burger eating contest sponsored by Hardee's, and the grilling of a very large (but not gigantic) burger of roughly 120-pounds.

Betty Morgan of Seymour, left, and Mike "The Hammer" Fitzgerald of Menasha, right, bite into their burgers during the Hardee's Hamburger Eating Contest during the 20th Annual Burger Fest in Seymour, Wis., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008. Morgan was the only female competitor. Fitzgerald set a new event record by eating seven and one-third Hardee's Thickburgers in under 12 minutes.

"It's definitely a hobby. I always had a big appetite," said Fitzgerald. "You see it on TV, and I just thought hey I could do that."

Organizer Travis Gracyalny of Hardee's of Green Bay confirmed that the previous contest record was five and one-quarter Thickburgers, each of which are about half a pound of food when including the bun, the third-pound patty and the fixings.
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