Tens of thousands of people filled the downtown El Reno streets for Burger Day 2019.
Tribal leaders, popular performers, politicians and beloved mascots were among the many who attended.
Vendors selling a variety of items lined the streets, offering toys, clothing, caricatures and other novelties.
Food stands were also in abundance, selling corn dogs and specialty root beer along with the focus of all the hubbub - burgers.
While Johnnie’s, Sid’s and Robert’s sold their sandwiches to weary walkers, the crescendo of the event came with the world’s largest fried onion burger. Weighing in at 850 pounds, the burger was carefully prepared by a large team that included a group of firefighters, Cavin’s Wrecker and the EHS football team.
As Fire Chief Kent Lagaly entertained the waiting crowd, a jovial contest was offered to the football team: learn who traveled the farthest to reach Burger Day.
The young sportsmen listened to the crowd give their answers before researching the exact distance on the Internet, and it was revealed that there were some attendees who traveled all the way from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Charli Mackey was also crowned as Burger Queen. Mackey, a longtime Main Street volunteer, was joined by her grandchildren as she accepted the crown and waved to the crowd.
The mustard-soaked monster burger was eventually cut up by volunteers and passed out to the hungry crowd. The volunteers helping included many city officials including Mayor Matt White as well as state politicians such as Sen. Lonnie Paxton and Rep. Rhonda Baker.
Elsewhere, people were entertained by music and dance performances. The festivities technically started Friday as performers such as Superfreak and Los Reyes Del Bravo played their songs to a lively crowd. A Neil Diamond Tribute Band, Diamond on the Rocks, belted out classic hits as couples danced beneath the moonlight.
Saturday’s performers included the EHS Jazz Band, Dance Etiquette, a Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal dancing group and many other bands and entertainers.
On a nearby street, the car and motorcycle shows were in full swing. Dozens of people took photos of the vintage vehicles, and some even got to sit in the driver’s seat. One man, Tom Wood, was showing his 1955 Bel Air two-door Hard Copy. With him were Peewee and Max, two crowd-pleasing dogs that captured the attention of several passing children. Wood had his own thoughts on what Burger Day meant.
“Anytime the weather is right and the community gets to come together, it’s a really positive thing. There are so many different types of people, and it’s a good show.”
Those who planned and produced the festival were happy with the turnout, a sea of smiles that lasted all day.
“People have told me it was the biggest Burger Day ever,” said Shana Ford, director of El Reno Main Street. “We sold out of burgers for the first time ever, and two nonprofits also sold out of their food. We want to thank the whole community and all of the El Reno businesses. We appreciate the police department, the fire department, Public Works, El Reno Public Schools, Cavin’s Wrecker, Redlands, Lucky Star Casino, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and everyone else in the community. It couldn’t have been done without partnership and teamwork, and there’s no I in team.”