When: Sat., Aug. 20 2011
Akron's annual homage to wonderful fast food returns this weekend to Lock 3 Park, where the National Hamburger Festival marks its sixth year of artery-clogging deliciousness and quirky burger-themed fun. Among the highlights: the crowning of the Burger Queen, a chance to bob for burgers in a vat of ketchup (tip: keep your eyes closed!), and a Baby Burger contest that, it turns out, is a pageant for babies, not a chance to eat them. Also on the menu: live music, a "best burger" competition, and kids' activities. Of course, the eats are the main event. In that category, you'll find 15 restaurants, including Menches, Barley House, Metro Burger, and White Castle, grilling up more than 30 varieties of beefy goodness; on the side, enjoy funnel cakes, fruit smoothies, ice cream, and more. Plus, be sure to catch the debut of the slider-sized, deep-fried burger: a batter-dipped doozy that inventors claim tastes like a funnel cake-burger hybrid and stands as proof that Americans come by their girth honestly. Today's hours are noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday's hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. — Courtney Kerrigan 200 South Main St., Akron, 330-375-2877,hamburgerfestival.com.