Festivals & Fairs

The Tradition Is Coming Back to Athens

The Tradition Is Coming Back to Athens

The Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival

Athens, Texas- After a long hiatus, the Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival will return to the Courthouse Square in Athens on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Of course there will be the traditional Hamburger Cook-Off to crown the best burger chef around, but there will also be a burger eating contest, a dine ‘n dash, bobbing for burgers, and a mooing contest.

To enter the cook-off, go to UncleFletchFestival.com and download an application or call Michael Hannigan at 903-677-5333.

In addition, the stage will be set up for music with local sensation Kadie Lynn opening the festival and Will Burgin from Guitar’s Etc. closing the day with a songwriter’s competition.

“My family and I are so excited that the Home of the Hamburger is going to host an amazing Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival this year on September 20th,” said the event’s main sponsor, Jeff Weinstein of Weinstein Law. “Think you have a great hamburger? Get a team together and for $20 let’s see who is the best hamburger chef in the county!”

Other major sponsors include Sonic, Whataburger, Mooyah Burger and McDonald’s. Also sponsors are Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative and Southside Bank.

Anyone can become a sponsor of the festival and claim their piece of history by becoming a hamburger helper for just $25. Sponsorship at that level includes your name on a yard sign to be displayed at the event.

For more information about sponsorships, call Kim Hodges at 903-676-1923 or Kim Walker at 903-675-5626.

All the fun is planned to celebrate Athens as the Home of the Hamburger, the invention of Fletcher “Uncle Fletch” Davis.

The definitive research on the subject was probably done by the historian Frank X. Tolbert and documented in the book, “Tolbert’s Texas.” But former Athens Review Editor Toni Garrard Clay also wrote a well-known story about Uncle Fletch. Clay wrote: http://www.cbaathenstx.com/festivals/hamburger-history

“(Clint) Murchison’s grandfather, John Murchison, shared vivid memories of having eaten the then-unnamed sandwich in the late 1880s at Davis’ cafe. Then in 1904, Davis and his wife, Recilla “Ciddy” Davis, traveled to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. There is an eyewitness account of Davis selling food at the fair, though he is not listed in official records as having been a vendor there.

Although he owned the cafe for a time, Davis’ primary trade was that of a potter, and so his vendor admission pass book for the world’s fair, which remains in the family, identifies him as a “pottery turner.”

From potter to legend, Uncle Fletch was a Texan who invented America’s most iconic meal. So come to Athens on Sept. 20 and be a part of what’s cooking at this year’s Uncle Fletch Festival.

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