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Where's the Beef?


The verdict is still out on whether or not Akron’s Menches brothers made the first hamburger at a New York county fair in 1885. No matter. The Rubber City celebrates America’s favorite sandwich at today’s National Hamburger Festival. “Northeast Ohio is a natural place to hold this event,” says Drew Cerza, the festival’s founder. “There’s an abundance of hamburger joints around.” More than 20,000 burger buffs wolfed down three-dozen different types of beef-in-a-bun magic at last year’s inaugural outing. This year’s event features a burger-eating contest, a burger cook-off, and a Miss Hamburger pageant. Kids can get their faces painted and make some crafts. Meanwhile, Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle impersonators stroll the grounds, while Craig Boldman -- creator of the Archie comic books -- signs autographs. Plus, local burger hot spots like the Barley House, Hodge’s Café, and the Steel Trolley bring the beef.

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