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El Reno's annual Fried Onion Burger Day Festival is a tribute to the popular fried onion hamburgers that have been cooked daily in diners and cafes throughout Oklahoma since the early 1900s. Visitors from around the world converge in El Reno each year to witness the cooking of the world's largest fried onion hamburger, weighing in at over 850 lbs.
An all-American event, the El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival traces its origins back to Ross Davis, who owned and operated the Hamburger Inn on Route 66 in downtown El Reno. During the DEPRESSION, when onions were cheap but meat was expensive, Davis began adding shredded onion to five-cent meat patties in order to make the burgers look bigger. What resulted on the grill of the Hamburger Inn was a hamburger with a tremendous amount of flavor and the birth of a local tradition and delicacy.
In celebration of El Reno's unique slice of Americana, it was decided that the city's Fried Onion Burger Day Festival would revolve around the cooking of the world's largest fried onion hamburger. Come and watch as a 12-ft convection oven and a 10-ft circular grill cooks, rises, flips and lowers 250 lbs. of beef, 150 lbs. of onion and 350 lbs. of bun layered with mustard and pickles. Watch in amazement as this tasty behemoth is created, and then stick around to help eat the massive burger. Volunteers will be on hand to divide the giant burger into individual portions and pass them out to hungry festival-goers FOR FREE.
This El Reno festival, which attracts over 30,000 visitors each year, also includes carnival rides, games, live entertainment, an evening concert, the annual Bun Run and more. Browse rows of classic cars in the festival's car and motorcycle show, or enjoy shopping for handmade goods and merchandise in a wide variety of craft and vendor booths. Clowns and magicians will be on hand to entertain the kids, while a burger eating contest invites participants to chow down on delicious onion burgers in the hopes of claiming the TOP PRIZE. If burgers are not your thing, enjoy a wide array of fair food from multiple food vendors. Smoked turkey legs, Indian tacos, funnel cakes, deep-fried Twinkies, cotton candy, barbecue sandwiches, cinnamon rolls and more will be available.
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