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Flavor of Hamburg to offer a taste of the village

For years, Hamburg has held the Burgerfest in July to celebrate the almighty beef patty, but this year, the Flavor of Hamburg will showcase Hamburg as a whole, especially its business community. On Aug. 23, the sidewalks will become the boardwalk for the festival that will allow businesses, restaurants and other local merchants to sell their wares, without closing down the streets or blocking the entrances to those establishments.

“For some businesses, Burgerfest is a dead day,” said organizer Norm Zintz. “Some benefit, but for others, they figure they might as well close their doors, because no one can get to them.”

The Flavor of Hamburg will not require tickets for food items, and each restaurant will be able to sell alcohol at its own establishment, since there will be no central beer tent. Bands will play at the new park in front of the Kronenberg building, as well as at the peace park in front of the Municipal Parking Lot.

“It’s going to be the Burgerfest and Music Fest, all rolled into one,” said Zintz. “People can shop up and down Main and Buffalo, visit the art show and then grab a bite and listen to some music.”

The festival will feature an art show, with local artists showcasing and selling their wares, as well as bounce houses, a balloon lady and other games for the kids, in addition to the merchant tents. A bike cruise will be the Flavor of Hamburg’s answer to Burgerfest’s car show, with motorcycles showing off their stuff for enthusiasts and riders, alike.

Merchant tents will be set up in the parking spaces, facing the sidewalk, but will be roped off so that visitors are not able to dart into the street, except at designated crosswalks.

Zintz said he and the committee got the idea from festivals he has visited “out West,” in which the streets remain open to traffic, but the sidewalks become a temporary fair.

“That way, people can drive through, see what’s going on and decide to stop and experience the flavor of Hamburg,” Zintz said.

The local Kiwanis Club is donating the insurance for the event, which is organized by Zipco Events. The Village Business Advisory Council supported the event as well, helping organizers obtain the appropriate permits. All posters were donated by Color Xpress, and Zintz said the festival will be advertised on local radio stations, to get visitors from further afield.

“We don’t need to get [merchants] from outside the[Southtowns]. We need to show people what we’ve got, right here. There’s no beer tent, no tickets and we’re keeping it cheap. We want people to see what Hamburg has got to offer.”

Bands will include Queen City Catastrophe, The Legendary Jazz and Blues Quartet, UST, Tommy and the 2Tones, Kill the Clock, the Gutter Prophets and other “special acts,” according to Zintz. The festival takes place from noon-8 p.m., although many restaurants up and down Main and Buffalo street plan to host live music, throughout the night.

“It’s going to be a great family event. We’re not Burgerfest; this is not a charity. We want to make it an annual thing, get a lot of people involved. I’m too old for this,” Zintz said, with a laugh.

“Hopefully, others will take it up next year, but we’re just working on making the inaugural event as great as we possibly can.”

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