CHEESEBURGER CAPITAL OF TEXAS
Friona, originally called “Frio” after the nearby Frio Draw, was established in 1898 courtesy of the giant XIT Ranch to serve as its shipping point along the Pecos & Northern Railroad. Eight years later in 1906 (considered the official date of the town’s birth), the George G. Wright Land Company, sensing an opportunity, obtain land options on the much of the Frio property to aide in settlement. The company constructed a bank, stables, and a hotel in the community to help lure settlers from the Midwest. The plan worked and by 1907 Frio had its own post office and a name change to Friona. Friona’s home county, Parmer, organized in 1907 as well and, after contested election results, Friona lost its bid for county seat to neighboring Farwell.
Today, Friona is headquarters for the Cheeseburger Cook-off and Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Friona Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. Teams compete to create the best tasting cheeseburger, determined by a panel of judges, and a People’s Choice Cheeseburger Award, elected by festival attendants who drop their votes, a dollar a piece, into designated “ballot cans” at each cook-off site. Contributions are donated to worthy causes each year including the Parmer County Cancer Coalition. Friona has succeeded in making the Cheeseburger Cook-off and Festival such a success that the 2007 Texas State Legislature awarded Friona the title of “Cheeseburger Capital of Texas”.