Rain or shine, Taste of Hamburg-er Festival set for Saturday

40,000 people expected to attend 14th annual event

HAMBURG, Pa. - The inspiration for Jeff Stumpf's "Skook Burger" didn't come from his kitchen, but rather a hunter hangout in Schuylkill County.

"We would go out to Orwigsburg Rod & Gun Club on Thursday nights and shoot trap and they needed a little help behind the counter, so I said, 'Sure, I'll help you out,' and the old-timers would make some burgers ahead and they'd put them on a frying pan on low with beer and onions," Stumpf recalled.

He runs the 'It's Just Bar-B-Que" restaurant at 320 Beech Road in Orwigsburg. It's a spot known more for it's bright pink pig grill parked outside and succulent ribs on the menu than it is for its burgers.

But Saturday, Stumpf will be making his sophomore appearance at the 14th annual Taste of Hamburg-er Festival in Hamburg, and he wants you to taste not just the flavors of Schuylkill County's well-known brewery, but also Kowalonek's kielbasa and Mrs. T's pierogies.

You can give it a try by visiting his stand at 53 South Fourth Street.

Meanwhile, at the Hamburg Diner, manager Chris Driesbach was inspired by a home-cooked menu item, or perhaps lack thereof.

"Being a [Pennsylvania] Dutch boy, I like my shepherd's pie. The only problem is, you can't get shepherd's pie every day of the week," Driesbach explained.

If anything, attendees can't complain about the lack of variety. Speaking of attendees, according to longtime festival organizer Deena Kershner, like the ingredients in the burgers, it's only getting bigger.

"The first year, we probably had 3,000 people attend this festival, and this year, we estimate it's up to 40,000 every year that come now."

The 14th annual Taste Of Hamburg-er Festival will take place, rain or shine, in downtown Hamburg from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday.

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