• Wild Horse Stampede: The secret’s in the pickle juice

    The Catholic burger. Photo by Lynn Donaldson

    The Catholic burger. Photo by Lynn Donaldson

    Not only does the Wild Horse Stampede in Wolf Point boast the best rodeo, parades and wild horse races in the West – you can also find what is arguably the best burger in the state during the event that takes place there each July.

    You might have to wait awhile to get a “Catholic burger,” but as writer Richard Peterson told us in the March/April 2014 issue, it’s worth the wait.

    Along with his feature about the storied history of the Wild Horse Stampede, Peterson let us know where you can find a Catholic burger. And photographer Lynn Donaldson found out from one of the cooks that the “divine” taste of the burgers comes from the pickle juice that is splashed on the fried onions that top the burger.

    It’s tradition for Stampede-goers to munch on a “Catholic burger,” an iconic food people are willing to wait for. Some wait for as long as 45 minutes in 90-degree plus temperatures to get a taste, Peterson wrote.

    An annual fundraiser for the Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish in Wolf Point, the burger stand – open 24 hours during the Stampede – will go through a ton of hamburger and hundreds of pounds of onions in four days, parish member co-organizer Kerry Hanks said.

    “That smell of fried onions and burger drifts down the block, and sometimes the line of people will, too,” she said. “That’s a big part of our success.”

    Not quite as old as the Stampede, the Catholic burger stand has been in operation for 66 years. It started as a small concession stand on one of Wolf Point’s side streets, but its popularity forced it to set up on an empty lot on Main Street during Stampede.

    This year, you can get a Catholic burger for yourself July 10-13 during the Stampede.

    - Jenna