BURGER FEST is here in Seymour, WI

This coming weekend is the famous Burger Fest in Seymour, WI. Every year in August the town comes together to celebrate its claim to fame. Seymour is the birthplace of the beloved American hamburger. The festival begins on Friday the 13th and runs through Saturday the 14th.

Burger Fest banner downtown seymour
Downtown Seymour is all dressed up for the festival. Main Street even has a fresh coat of asphalt!

How do we know that Seymour is truly “the home of the hamburger”?

This is a question that is often asked. The truth is Seymour has the earliest recorded account of anyone ever serving a hamburger. A 15 year old Charlie Nagreen, came to the Seymour Fair to sell meatballs in 1885. They weren’t selling because people didn’t want to sit to eat. His solution was to smash the meatball between to slices of bread so people could eat it while still walking through exhibits. That was the day the hamburger was born. Many cities across the country have tried to challenge Seymour’s claim but none can provide evidence dating back to 1885. You can read more facts about Hamburger Charlie Nagreen here.

In 1935, Romie Reynolds, a friend of Charlie wrote a poem to commemorate his 65th birthday.

Way back in 1885 Seymour had a fair.

A young man out of Hortonville drove his oxen over there
took along some lumber and put up a little shack
In the center of the fair grounds, over near the track.

He had a couple of frying pans, some coffee and some bread
And a lot of beef all chopped up, fine hamburger he said.
He had an awful lingo about the young and old.
He said the sandwiches were hot, and the lemonade was cold.

He never was in a hurry and he always wore a smile.
It just seemed like everyone was hungry all the while.
When he dumped the old cigar box, he had thirty dollars clear,
But he lost it on the highway between there and DePere.

So he borrowed twenty dollars and continued on his way.
He kept right on a going and he’s going yet today.

A stranger, Jimmy Christianson. found the six five dollar bills
And returned then to the owner when he met him in the hills.
He then went up to Wausau and learned the candy trade.
There he raised a little family with the money that he made.

He used to play for dances and he always made the fairs.
From there he went to Appleton and put a store in there.
He made some ice cream and candy and handled Christmas trees
He sold some firecrackers and a little cottage cheese.

In 1935 he’s at the Seymour fair again
With fifty years of service in the sunshine and in the rain.
The people of Wisconsin who have met him on the way
All gathered there to celebrate his anniversary.

They presented him with a fine bouquet it says “Efficiency”.
His hair is white, but the smile is still there just as it used to be
He told us on the side one day – and we never doubted his word
If he had his meat all on the hoof he would have quite a herd.

At one place the water works gave out and they almost died of thirst
And the cook who made the coffee had to wash the dishes first.
Another time the wind came up and it got under the tent
He left me there to watch it, but I don’t know where it went.

Once Charlie caught a-fire and a woman saved his life
We all knew how she did it but we never told his wife.
Not because she ever questioned what he might or might not do
For no matter what he started, she was there to see him through.

We have read about so many trades-the painter and the poet
There will always be a trade to build but it takes a man to do it.
Now he lives on Memorial Drive with his daughter and his wife.
He will be renting masquerade costumes for the balance of his life.

So many birthdays to this man whom all of us have seen.
He is called “Hamburger Charlie” or Charles R. Nagreen.


Seymour started Burger Fest to honor the great gift Charlie Nagreen gave the world the classic American hamburger!

Burger Fest 2021

Home of the Hamburger Sign on Post

Hamburger Fest 2021 starts on Friday Night August 13th and continues through the next day. Here are some of the events on the schedule.

Friday Night (at Rock Ledge Park):

  • Hot Air Balloon Rally
  • 50 / 50 raffle
  • Children’s Face Painting
  • Hot Air Balloon Glow at dusk
  • Food Served

Saturday (at downtown location)

  • Bun Run
  • Car Show
  • World’s Largest Hamburger Parade
  • Serving 200 Pound Hamburger
  • High School Bands
  • Burger Eating Contest
  • 50 / 50 Raffle
  • Kids Games
  • The Bands Outlaw’d and Little Texas

To find out more details on here.

From parades, to car shows, live music, hot air balloons, burgers and beer! This years Burger Fest is sure to entertain everyone! This little small town is a place of tradition, family, and hard working people, who once a year come together to celebrate Charlie and the hamburger!

Family fun from our own driveway! The balloon’s drifting overhead is pretty awesome! This was our private hamburger fest in 2019.

Come join the fun! It all starts on Friday! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer everyone. It will be over fast.

Toodles from Seymour ~ Amy


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BURGER FEST is here in Seymour, WI

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