Buzz building for inaugural All-American Burger Bash

Published 10:44 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jessamine County’s new Labor Day weekend tradition has everyone’s favorite grilling treat on the mind.

The first-ever All-American Burger Bash is taking over the Jessamine County Fairgrounds at 400 Park Drive on Sept. 1-2. According to Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce Director Ronda May, the plan is for the free event to be the successor of the former Jessamine Jamboree.

“The Chamber Board decided it would be good if we could take on something that could be a community-wide event, something that was for all-ages family fun with lots to do and activities,” May explained. “So we thought about how every community kind of has its own catchphrase-themed activity, and we wanted something that we could kind of hang our hat on and build upon year after year. We came up with the Burger Bash.”

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Along with the featured Burger Grill-Off competition on Saturday afternoon, the Bash will also offer a balloon glow, the Jessamine Life Talent Showcase talent show, inflatables and a variety of youth games, a pet costume contest, local bands performing both evenings, a watermelon-eating contest, food trucks serving both days and craft vendors set up throughout the event.

However, the main event will take place on Saturday, when both professionals and backyard grillmasters throw on the patties for local bragging rights.

“It will feature a youth category and an adult category, so all ages can come and enter,” May said. “Everything will be cooked on site.”

One caveat of the competition that May wishes to stress is that, though the public can attend the competition as spectators at no cost, only event judges and the grillers themselves will be permitted to sample the burgers at this year’s event due to regulations from the Jessamine County Health Department.

Businesses are also invited to set up space and represent themselves at tents in a designated area, which May said will provide an excellent opportunity to promote themselves to a wide demographic base. Space can be reserved for both business vendors and craft vendors for $75 each.

The event will be capped off on Saturday evening with a showing of “The Lego Batman Movie” and a fireworks display.

If the Bash itself isn’t enough burger for your buns, you can indulge yourself in Burger Week from Aug. 28 through Sept. 1. There are currently eight different local restaurants participating in the event with special burgers, with the best being voted on by connoisseurs in the community.

“During that week, you can get a $5 specialty burger from one of the participating restaurants,” May said. Voting information will be forthcoming.

Anyone interested in helping out as a volunteer at the event is encouraged to contact the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce office at 859-887-4351. In addition, activity sponsorships and basket sponsorships are still available for interested businesses.

For more information on the event and sponsorships, as well event applications, visit Also, keep an eye on the All-American Burger Bash Facebook Page for updates. A full schedule of events will be listed online in the coming days, and in an upcoming issue of the Jessamine Journal as well.

“Our hope and goal with this being on Labor Day weekend is that it is something that we can expand into a four-day event of something kids can do other than going somewhere else,” May said.

Look for updates on the All-American Burger Bash in next week’s issue.