From the Editor: Surviving my first Taste of Hamburg-er Festival

Shea Singley wearing one of the burger hats lent to her by Carl Hess.
Shea Singley wearing one of the burger hats lent to her by Carl Hess.

This past Taste of Hamburg-er Festival was the first for me. Having seen pictures from past years and hearing stories from those around the area while putting together the guide and in general getting ready for the event, I had a vague idea in my mind of what it would be like. I was pleasantly surprised by how the whole day exceeded my expectations.

Most of the time, I tend to avoid large events. In all the years that I have been to the area, I have been to the Kutztown Folk Festival once and growing up went to much smaller fairs and festivals. Pictures of packed streets from the last festivals had me stressing out about how I would be able to get pictures and do a good job at covering the event.

Though the streets were packed, moving from one spot to the next was easy. Even the long lines at burger stands were different than I expected. People waiting did not look angry or complain. Rather they appeared to be having a good time and patiently waiting for their burger experience. How often can you say that?

Though I have never had any interest in competitive eating, I enjoyed watching both the amateur teams and the professional eaters battle it out for the win. I enjoyed walking by all sorts of vendors and had a hard time not stopping to buy a few collectibles. As an animal lover, I really enjoyed the animal rescues and watching one of the pigs make some artwork. And though I only had time for one burger, I am prepared to make a list of all the different ones to try next time.


The event was very organized and ran smoothly. Having spent the day walking around trying to capture as much as one person possibly could, I do not recall hearing any negative comments as I passed by visitors. I was very impressed.

Before the festival, I was more nervous than excited. Looking at the festival guide was intimidating and I did not know what to expect at all from the whole day. It was a tiring and long day, but extremely fun. This is definitely a festival that I will try to get some of my friends from outside the state to come to during a visit.

The best part of the experience is what I learned. With every event I am able to see what worked and did not and see what I want to do differently the next time. I am very much looking forward to the next Taste of Hamburg-er Festival and hope that everyone else is as well.

Shea Singley is the Editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She can be contacted at