Canadian County parking lot use OK’d for Burger Day

Commissioners agree to remove curb stops for May 6th El Reno festival

Tracey Rider

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – Canadian County Commissioners have granted a request for El Reno Main Street to use a parking lot for the 35th Annual Burger Day Festival.

At their weekly meeting March 6, commissioners voted 3-0 to remove curb stops in the parking lot north of the Canadian County Health Department on Rock Island Avenue.

Burger Day is coming Saturday, May 6 to downtown El Reno. The festival is a tribute to the fried onion hamburger, cooked daily in El Reno since the early 1900s.

“Main Street would like to use that parking lot to have it where they could cook the burger,” Canadian County District 3 Commissioner Tracey Rider said. “It would give people a lot more room.”

Produced by El Reno Main Street, this special event features the cooking of the world’s largest fried onion burger.

Rider, president of the El Reno Main Street board, noted that Canadian County and the City of El Reno share ownership of the parking lot. The lot is beside the “Heroes Plaza” World War II Memorial at the northwest corner of Rock Island and Woodson.

Removing the curb stops will make the parking lot safer by eliminating a potential hazard, she noted.

Canadian County and El Reno city officials have agreed to permanently remove those curb stops.

“They’re really useless,” Rider emphasized. “You pull into that parking lot, and you can get lost.”

A former El Reno City Council member, she looks forward to commissioners and the city working together to eventually stripe the lot with parking spaces.

El Reno typically hosts more than 20,000 people – some traveling from around the world – for the Burger Day Festival on the first Saturday each May.

They come from near and far to taste the 850-pound friend onion burger.

“It’s getting larger and larger every year,” Commissioner Rider noted.

Burger Day director Shana Ford attended the Canadian County Commissioners’ Monday morning meeting, encouraging county officials and the public to attend.

District 1 Canadian County Commissioner Tom Manske, an auctioneer, offered his services to help emcee and cook.

El Reno is home to Sid’s Diner, Johnnies Grill and Robert’s Grill, which serve up specialty fried onion delicacies.

El Reno’s Main Street program was established in 1988 to promote downtown revitalization.



In other business at their March 6th meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved:

  • A resolution for District 1 to sell 28 radios to the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments for use by rural fire departments.
  • A resolution for District 2 to sell a used Caterpillar grader to the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority.
  • A contract between District 3 and Robinson Bros. Construction to build a lean-to at the District 3 shop. Cost is $203,500.
  • A resolution for District 3 to accept a $550 donation from Christopher Hutcheson to construct and maintain county roads.
  • An agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to pay 20% of HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) expenses at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
  • Acknowledging designation of Holly Eaton and Keri Peavler as requisitioning officers and LaDonna Morado and K’Leigh Headley as receiving officers for the Canadian County Court Clerk’s Office.
  • Acknowledging designation of Kimberly Killman and Heather Dunavin as requisitioning officers and Crystal Schneidt and Tamara Storrs as receiving officers for the Canadian County Health Department.

Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing 220 inmates in custody, with 187 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 33 housed in outside contract counties.

Some 43 Canadian County inmates are awaiting transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.