National Bagelfest Day July 26


National Bagelfest Day is observed annually on July 26th.

This crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle bread is very popular in the USA and Canada.  Served with a variety of toppings as well as produced in a variety of flavors, bagel shops are a staple in most communities across the country.

Introduced to the United States by immigrant Polish-Jews, bagels were a thriving business that developed in New York City. Controlled for decades by Bagel Bakers Local 338, the union held contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers.  It was founded in 1907 under the name International Beigel Bakers’ Union.

Handmade bagels were the norm until the 1960s when Daniel Thompson invented the bagel maker.  Heated debate over man vs. machine, handcrafted beigels vs. manufactured bagels began.

The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century, which was due at least partly to the efforts of bagel baker Harry Lender, his son, Murray Lender, and Florence Sender, who pioneered automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s. Murray also invented pre-slicing the bagel.


Grab some bagels and post on social media using #NationalBagelfestDay.


The day is credited to Murray Lender, owner of Lenders Bagels.  In 1986, Murray started the festival in Mattoon, Illinois, home of the world’s largest bagel factory.


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