By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – More than 1,000 people visited the Oren Dunn City Museum on Saturday to eat a Dudie burger and enjoy the afternoon with oldies in the air.
The ninth Dudie Burger Festival raised money to support the city’s museum and to repair and restore the old Memphis streetcar that served as Dudie’s Diner on South Gloster Street from 1947 until 1986.
The festival has helped raise money to put a pavilion over the streetcar and now event organizer Boyd Yarbrough said they are hoping to begin restoring the streetcar itself.
“This is the ninth year for the festival but we’ve been focusing on the diner for the last two,” Yarbrough said. “It will take several thousand dollars to redo the diner. Of the money that we’re raising today, about one-third will go toward the diner and the rest will go to the other needs the museum has.”
To support the diner, festival patrons could by T-shirts, aprons, burgers and coke floats.
Sandy Byrd of Tupelo showed up to eat a Dudie burger and remember the days of the diner.
“The burger was wonderful,” she said. “I ate a lot of them when I was a child and it’s close to how it tasted back then.”
Chris Hill was helping prepare burgers at the festival.
“It’s that old nostalgic dough burger recipe that takes people back to the ’50s and ’60s,” he said.
Each burger came dressed with onion, pickle and mustard.
Along with the food and oldies, kids were able to participate in bubble gum chewing contests, Goldfish (cracker) eating contests, face-painting and yard games.