National Hamburger Day is celebrated on May 28 every year. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice burger? (Maybe the vegetarians… And the vegans… Okay, so they’re not for everyone.)
The hamburger has a history that dates back to at least the 17th century. “Hamburger” has been used to refer to ground beef since the creation of the mechanical meat grinder in the 1860s and various iterations of this ground beef could be found throughout the United States from the 1870s onward.
Charlie Nagreen is credited with the invention of the American hamburger as we know it today. Nagreen originally wanted to sell meatballs at the fair in Seymour, Wisconsin, about 20 miles north of his hometown. The meatballs were not commercially successful, but Nagreen was innovative and decided to put ground meat between two buns in order to provide a more unique product.
Ground up beefsteak was consumed often in Hamburg, Germany, so he named his creation “hamburger” in order to appeal to the German immigrants in Wisconsin. This all took place in 1885 when Nagreen was just 15 years old. I don’t know about you, but as a 15-year-old, I hadn’t done anything as impressive as creating the hamburger.
Although Charlie Nagreen is long gone by this point, the people of Seymour, Wisconsin have continued to honor his memory by referring to their town as the Home of the Hamburger and by throwing a burger festival annually since 1989. “Burger Fest” is a fundraiser that helps the people of Seymour raise money for scholarships and community projects, and though it is organized by local volunteers, it attracts people from all over.
Burger Fest 2018 will feature the World’s Largest Hamburger Parade, a Burger Eating Contest, a Giant Ketchup Slide, a Car Show and a plethora of hot air balloons. The cost of entry is only $3 in advance and $5 at the gate. No, I’m not making this up. If your mouth is watering and you’re ready to drive (or fly) on up, the event will be held on Friday, August 10 and Saturday, August 11. More information is available at http://www.homeofthehamburger.org/.
If you don’t think you will be able to make it to Wisconsin any time soon, that’s okay. You can still celebrate National Burger Day today at home! Turn on your grill, cook up some nice hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and invite some friends over. (Or just hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru if you’re feeling lazy.)
To show extra appreciation for the hamburgers on their special day, throw on one of the many shows that celebrate them. Admit it, you spent your entire childhood wanting to discover the secret ingredient in the Krabby Patty from Spongebob Squarepants. Bob’s Burgers is another great option if you’re looking to laugh.
Happy National Hamburger Day! Don’t forget to tag your celebratory social media posts with #NationalHamburgerDay and to check out the fun memes in the gallery above.