Burgers And Hoops

The third annual versions of both the Warren Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament and the Allegheny Burger Festival are under way.

Organizers and participants set up the events, hosted simultaneously at Betts Park, on Thursday and Friday.

The burger festival opened Friday and runs throughout the weekend with judging at 2 p.m. Saturday and People’s Choice voting open at the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI) trailer next to the Dream Court until 1 p.m. Sunday.

“There are a lot of very tasty options,” Anderson said. “Our vendors have embraced burger creativity.”

There are other food and merchandise vendors set up. Some servers will open for breakfast as early as 8 a.m. Saturday. Everyone will be up and running by 11 a.m. and the festivities close at 10 p.m.

The band, Kokomo Time, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The tournament features 16 courts, including the Dream Court sponsored by Tops for the Youth, and the Top Men’s court. Gus Macker Foreman Jeremy Vandenburg and five work-release volunteers from the Warren County Jail handled the setup Thursday.

“It took us most of the day,” Vandenburg said, “from 8 until almost 8.”

“They have quite the system,” Council on Tourism Director John Papalia said. “Jeremy has this thing pretty well wired. All of a sudden, they’re up.”

Macker officials were working on the final preparations Friday. “This is our just-in-case day,” he said.

One of those officials was Scott McNeal, Gus Macker founder. He was strapping down banners and hauling tables Friday afternoon.

McNeal will also call play-by-play for the Dream Court.

“When he shows up, we make him work,” Vandenburg said.

Both the tournament and the festival wrap up on Sunday.

Not everyone wants to play basketball, and there’s only so much a person can eat, so there are other options.

“We have a kids amusement area – bounce houses, a climbing wall – and plenty of open green space,” Anderson said.

Admission and parking for the event are free.