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    In-N-Out Burger’s 75th anniversary kicks off in Pomona
    • October 22, 2023

    Fast food and racing car fans descended on Pomona on Sunday, Oct. 22, for a 12-hour festival marking the 75th anniversary of In-N-Out Burger.

    It took place at the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, which is on the grounds of the Fairplex.

    The event was a big production with a car show, car racing, live bands, an In-N-Out museum and plenty of burgers for sale.

    It formally kicked off with a sky diver dropping onto the racetrack after a prayer of thanks and for peace in Israel by Sean Ellingson, husband of In-N-Out owner and president Lynsi Snyder.

    “That’s my daughter!” said Mike Calmy as Kristi Calmy, a regional manager for In-N-Out in Las Vegas, sang the national anthem. He was wearing a 75th anniversary Hawaiian shirt and celebrating his own birthday at the event.

    Lynsi Snyder’s grandparents Harry and Esther Synder opened the first In-N-Out on Friday, Oct. 22, 1948 in Baldwin Park. It was a drive-thru, which was an innovation at the time. Shortly after opening, Harry Snyder built a two-way intercom to take drivers’ orders before they reached the Snyders’ 10-by-10-foot stand, another innovation that changed the history of fast food.

    Long lines formed at a tent housing the the In-N-Out company  store shortly after the gates opened around 10 a.m. There Mike Calmy’s Hawaiian shirt was selling for $64.95, just one item among dozens of T-shirts, hoodies and caps.

    The grounds were also dotted with selfie stations where families with toddlers were getting their pictures taken for free postcards printed on the spot.

    “Oh cool!” said Amy Treadway of Irvine, where In-N-Out is currently headquartered, as she and Brandon Treadway received an image of themselves in front of an In-N-Out neon sign.

    Several attendees also came to the dragstrip for In-N-Out’s 70th anniversary. That event had a much bigger car show but fewer attractions, according Richard Arbiso of Upland, who was showing his 1955 Chevy.

    “The 70th, you couldn’t walk by all the cars,” he said.

    In-N-Out Burger obtained the naming rights to the Pomona Dragstrip last year. It is a meaningful place to Lynsi Snyder, as she writes in new book, “The In-N-Outs of In-N-Out.”

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    Her late father Guy was a drag racing enthusiast, and Lynsi writes that the family held a celebration of life there after his death in 1999. She herself races and competed on the track in a Top Sportsman 1969 Chevelle hot rod last spring.

    Proceeds from the book will go to the In-N-Out Foundation, which works to combat child abuse, and Slave 2 Nothing, a non-profit Snyder set up with her husband Sean Ellingson to fight substance abuse and human trafficking. The festival is also raising funds for those organizations through entry fees for a Battle of the Bands and a separately ticketed rock concert.



    ​ Orange County Register