What is Burgoo?
Come to Franklin on Independence Day and enjoy our world famous burgoo!

Franklin is located in Central Illinois in the heart of the "Burgoo Belt."  So what is burgoo?  The simplest answer is that it is a concoction of various meats & vegetables tossed into a pot of boiling water.  The Burgoo requires stirring until it becomes a thick mushy soup.  When it gets to this point it is ready to be served.

Each year on July 4th the Village of Franklin prepares around 1,500 gallons of burgoo.  The preparation starts on the evening of the 3rd and the stirring continues until the early morning on the 4th.  The night before the burgoo chefs start preparing the meat, vegetables, & other secret ingredients.  Franklin usually uses canned vegetables, beef, and chicken in there burgoo.  All of these ingredients are added into the kettle and stirred over night.  People from the community are asked by the Franklin Lion's Club to come and stir the concoction.

So how popular is burgoo?  People from miles around travel to Franklin on the 4th lining there cars up for the drive through service and bringing there containers for walk-up service.  4 pots are usually saved to be served at the Lion's Club pavilion by the bowl.  If you want any burgoo you have to get there early, its usually all gone by 10:00 a.m.  Other communities around Franklin also have burgoo festivals such as Arenzville, where it is just a popular as it is in Franklin.

So where did burgoo come from?  Although most people in Franklin wouldn't admit it, burgoo originated in Kentucky in 1810, which is called the real burgoo capital of America.  In Kentucky it is also a hot item as it is in the "Burgoo Belt."

Franklin Burgoo Facts

How many kettles are used?
30 to 35 which hold 50 to 75 gallons of burgoo.

How much stuff is in it?

1,900 lbs. - chicken
120 gals. - tomato puree
1,800 lbs. - beef plate and shanks
120 gals. - corn
1,300 lbs. - potatoes
10 lbs. - rice
650 lbs.  - cabbage
15 lbs. - navy beans
700 lbs. - onions
35 lbs. - salt
500 lbs. - carrots
10 lbs. - pepper
120 gals. - canned tomatoes
30 lbs. - suet
130 lbs. - macaroni

1974 Estimates