Patty Place

Bobbing for foam burgers in a kiddie pool filled with ketchup is like deep-sea diving. "You can't see. You're just feeling around," says Drew Cerza, founder of the National Hamburger Festival. "It's really challenging." Held at Akron's Lock 3 Aug. 17 and 18, the annual event celebrates the claim that residents Frank and Charles Menches invented the hamburger in 1885 after substituting beef for the sausage patty sandwiches they were serving at New York's Erie County Fair. While others contest the burger's origins, Akron honors the Menches' creation with a hamburger-eating competition, best burger cook-off and bobbing for burgers contest. Last year, Christy Sinko, a second-grade teacher, plucked a record 21 hamburgers from the pool. "She actually wore high heels," says Cerza. "She got better traction and height."
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