AKRON, Ohio (September 2015) – With more than 20,000 in attendance, the 10th Annual National Hamburger Festival presented by the City of Akron at Lock 3 Park Aug. 8-9 was a huge success. But beyond the larger-than-life offerings of more than 50 different kinds of hamburgers from 20+ eateries, festivalgoers were treated to a number of burger-related contests, cook-offs and events that spawned a series of local champions.
2015 Hamburger Cook-Off
With so many burger options, festivalgoers can’t help but to pick their favorites. Good thing festival organizers hold the annual Hamburger Cook-Off where the “Burger Commission” selects a winner in four categories following an intense blind taste-taste.
Eleven restaurants in the competition vied for bragging rights in four different categories of best burger including: traditional, creative, cheeseburger and toppings/special sauce. Winners included:
Best Traditional Burger
- 1st Place: Legends Sports Pub & Grille – Bull Burger
- 2nd Place: Sammie’s Bar & Grill – Sammie’s Burger
- 3rd Place: Bob’s Hamburg – Bob’s Way
- Three-Way Tie: Martini Brothers Burger Bar – Nacho Cheeseburger
- Three-Way Tie: Max & Erma’s – The Clubhouse Burger
- Three-Way Tie: Bob’s Hamburg – The Heart Attack Burger
Most Creative Hamburger:
- 1st Place: Max & Erma’s – TMB Burger (Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil)
- 2nd Place: Martini Brothers Burger Bar – That’s My Jam Burger
- 3rd Place: Bob’s Hamburg – Hawaiian Burger
- Three-Way Tie: Max & Erma’s – Cola BBQ Bacon Burger
- Three-Way Tie: Smoke the Burger Joint – The Gilroy
- Three-Way Tie: Midway OH Boy – Double “D” Burger
The Burger Commission judges included Gary Brown from the Canton Repository, Katie Byard from the Akron Beacon Journal, Traci Christler from the blog HappinessIsAHotPierogi.com, Rich Polivka from the blog TastyCleveland.com and Dave “Coondog” O’Karma the festival’s honorary chairman.
2015 Hamburger Eating Champion
With help from local Akronite, honorary chairman and former professional competitive food eater Dave “Coondog” O’Karma, the Ohio Hamburger Eating Championship took place on Aug. 8. Competitors battled one another in a game of gluttony in which they had eight minutes to eat as many one-pound burgers as possible. The winner was Travis Johnson from Cleveland, OH who consumed four pounds of delicious burger during the heated eat-off.
2015 Bobbing for Burgers Winner
Reigning champ Christy Sinko from Brunswick brought home her seventh consecutive win for the Bobbing for Burgers Competition, in which competitors dive head-first into a kiddy pool filled with ketchup to fish for burger patties using only their mouths.
2015 Miss Hamburger Queen Pageant and Baby Burger Pageant
For the 10th year, the festival pageantry showcased some of the finest personalities in the region. The pageants included the National Hamburger Festival Queen (for ladies ages 15-25) and the Baby Burger Contest (children ages 3-5 years). Kalya Moore of Uniontown, Ohio was crowned the 2015 Queen of the National Hamburger Festival. And, tiny tot Olivia Hoffman from Barberton, Ohio was this year’s Baby Burger winner.