Hamburger Day tradition spans three decades

Three decades after the first Legislative Appreciation Day was held in Nashville, Lincoln County continues the tradition of treating legislators and capitol staff to a hamburger lunch, a tradition that reaps rewards long after the grills go cold.

“Legislative Appreciation Day began 32 years ago as a way to not only draw attention to agriculture in Lincoln County but to be able to meet face to face the people who are making decisions about our hometown,” said Carolyn Denton, executive director of the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, which organizes the event. “What better way to discuss issues that affect us than to sit down and talk over a meal.”

While some communities have held similar events in the past showcasing their hometown’s products, “Hamburger Day on the Hill”, as it has become known, is one of only a couple of events that has stood the test of time.

“As we deliver the tickets the week before the event, all we have to do is mention Hamburger Day or Lincoln County, and you can see how excited they are that it’s almost time for Hamburger Day,” Denton said. “They sincerely appreciate the fact that we make the effort each year to bring our community and lunch to them as a way show our appreciation to them for their dedication.

“The day is also a boost to local tourism as many attendees come and visit our community as a result,” she noted.

The Chamber hosts the event with its partners, the City of Fayetteville, County of Lincoln and the Lincoln County Livestock Association, all integral team members that make the event successful year after year. And, this year’s event, set for March 11 from 11 a.m., until 12:30 p.m., will be special, marking the first time hamburgers served during the lunch come from beef cattle raised right here in Lincoln County on Pilaroc Farms.

“We are very happy to coordinate the day and work with Rep. (Pat) Marsh’s office to reserve the location and parking,” Denton said.

The Chamber also coordinates the charter bus that transports the majority of Lincoln Countians to the event and designs and prints invitations and posters, secures giveaways to guests, coordinates youth volunteers and arranges for pick-up and delivery of soft drinks, water and Frito Lay chips. The organization also works to promote the event through The Elk Valley Times, Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU), WYTM-FM and WEKR-AM radio stations and handles ticket sales.

“We also deliver tickets to each office in the Capitol and Cordell Hull building,” Denton said, extending a special thanks to Rujena Dotson with the Lincoln County Livestock Association.

Fayetteville-Lincoln County residents are encouraged to attend Legislative Appreciation Day and take advantage of the bus transportation to and from the event to be held again on the 8th Floor Conference Center of the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville. Tickets are $20 each and include round-trip transportation on the charter bus, the meal and a tour of the Capitol.

For tickets, contact the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau at 433-1234 or stop by the office at 208 South Elk Avenue.

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