5th Annual Cheeseburger Festival in Friona kicks off Saturday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/16/10

5th Annual Cheeseburger Festival in Friona kicks off Saturday

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FRIONA, TX (KCBD) - The 5th Annual Cheeseburger Festival in Friona, Texas kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. Judging begins at 11:00 am and public consumption begins at noon.

The Board of Directors of Friona Chamber of Commerce were discussing the fact that Friona is in the middle of beef, wheat and diary country, and decided to see if a plan could be put together to promote Friona, by using local products.

The Board came up with the idea of the cheeseburger. Friona is located in Parmer County in the Panhandle of Texas with over 40 cattle feeding operations with in a 50 mile radius of town, 11 diaries ranking 3rd in the state for milk production and many acres of wheat grown in Parmer County.

Cargill Meat Solutions is located on Highway 60 west of Friona and processes over 1,000,000 head of cattle annually. We are lucky to have two cheese plants within 100 miles of Friona; Southwest Cheese in Clovis, New Mexico; and Hilmar Cheese located in Dalhart, Texas, both facilities have a combined daily production of approximately 1,000,000 pounds of cheese daily.

The first cook-off was held in July 2006 with Representative Warren Chisum in attendance. Representative Chisum, suggested to get the general public to write letters stating the fact that they would like Friona to be designated the "Cheeseburger Capital of Texas". During the 2007 Legislature, the bill was presented, and in June 2007, Governor Rick Perry, officially designated Friona as the "Cheeseburger Capital of Texas".

The first celebration in 2006 had 14 cooking teams from all over the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas, and served over 400 cheeseburgers and several hundred pounds of potatoes.  In 2009, 16 teams and served over 2000 cheeseburgers.

This year, 2,300 to 2,500 cheeseburgers are expected to be served. There will also be a car show, games and arts and crafts.

The first place cheeseburger pays $500.00, second place pays $300.00, and third place pays $100.00. All ingredients are provided to the teams from many generous sponsors.

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