Burger Wars, Touch-a-Truck Return Saturday

Mascot Patty poses next to the Burger Wars banner at the 2021 Burger Wars event. PHOTO BY ROBERT NOLES / THE OBSERVER




Opelika Rotary’s annual grilling competition, Burger Wars, returns to downtown Opelika Saturday, June 3.

Suitable for all ages and free to attend, Burger Wars, which first took place in 2015, is one of the most anticipated yearly events in Opelika.

Sponsored by the nonprofit arm of Opelika Rotary and Happy Hour Rotary Club, Burger Wars invites professional chefs, businesses and backyard cookout aficionados to test their chops — rather, patties — against others in their category.

And the best part? If you like eating burgers more than grilling them, there is a community favorite trophy at Burger Wars which is determined by attending guests who can purchase a “tasting ticket” for $2 each. One tasting ticket can be exchanged to sample one-quarter of a burger at any of the grilling stations. After tasting burgers, attendees can use a QR code to vote for their favorite burger, and the griller with the most votes will win the coveted Crowd Favorite trophy.

While guests enjoy tastings, a group of official judges will taste and rate burgers throughout the day, and winners in three grilling categories — Pro, Corporate and Tailgater — will be announced at 2 p.m. Winners in the Tailgater and Corporate categories get a trophy, $100 and bragging rights. The winner of the Pro category receives $750. The event begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

“Due to the event’s popularity in recent years, we anticipate that burger samples will go quickly, so we recommend arriving right at 11 a.m. for the best chance at trying all the burgers,” said Burger Wars 2023 committee co-chair Kristen Ferrell.

Throughout the day, the Burger Wars mascot, Patty Melt, will make several appearances, and Aubie the Tiger will also join in on the fun. And don’t forget to head over to the Big Bite Battle between the Opelika and Auburn fire departments at 1 p.m.

“Watching the two fire departments battle it out is one of the best parts of the day and worth sticking around for,” Ferrell said.

Funds generated by Burger Wars support the Opelika Rotary Charitable Foundation. The primary beneficiary is the Food Bank of East Alabama program for food-insecure children.

“Thanks to the success of last year’s event, we were able to provide more than $7,000 to support this program and sponsor Southview Primary in Opelika and Ogletree Elementary in Auburn,” Ferrell said.

For more information on Burger Wars, visit “Burger Wars” on Facebook.

Accompanying Burger Wars in downtown Opelika on Saturday, June 3, is Opelika’s annual Touch-a-Truck event. From 9 a.m. to noon, vehicles of all types will line the South Railroad Avenue in Opelika at this family fun event. Children of all ages are invited to come and explore military vehicles, racecars, dump trucks and more. Admission is free and visitors are encouraged to adventure around, into and through the vehicles.

For more information on Touch-a-Truck, visit “Touch-A-Truck” on Facebook.

“This event is fun for all ages,” Ferrell said. “Every year we have lots of families that spend their day in downtown Opelika, starting at Touch-a-Truck that morning, then walking up the street to sample some delicious burgers
at Burger Wars.”


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