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Bringing the community together: Cass Lake Rib Fest ends weekend with high attendance

Cass Lake’s Rib Fest parade was watched by more than 300 people Saturday. The parade consisted of more than 40 entries. TRENT OPSTEDAHL | BEMIDJI PIONEER

CASS LAKE — The laughter of children and the buzz of adult conversation lined downtown Cass Lake Saturday morning, as the 13th annual Rib Fest began its last day of events, which began with its annual parade.

"Rib Fest has been family time," Sheena Cabritit said as she and her three-year-old son sat on the street curb, waiting for the 11 a.m. parade to begin. "The parade is fun for the kids."

The summer event began its weekend-long festivities Thursday, and Sue Schafroth, director of the Cass Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said attendance throughout the entire weekend appeared been high.

"We had more than 300 people out yesterday under the tent," Schafroth estimated.

With cool and overcast weather conditions, attendance was slower than usual Friday, said Schafroth.

But with clearing skies and rising temperatures, Schafroth said Saturday’s events drew a crowd of nearly 500.

Having attended Cass Lake High School, Robin Ostlund and her family attend Rib Fest almost every year to see old friends.

"It’s so good to see people you know," Ostlund said. "Coming here, I’ve seen people I haven’t seen in 20 years."

Out to see the parade, Osltlund was accompanied by her daughter, Beth Baird, and granddaughter, Josephine Baird, who also have made a tradition of attending Rib Fest.

"I remember the parade as a kid," Baird said. "The karaoke is always memorable."

The annual parade consisted of more than 40 entries, according to Schafroth.

Following the parade, Rib Fest continued with the coronation of Little Miss Cass Lake and Miss Cass Lake. Childrens’ games and activities and the grilling of pork ribs continued into the afternoon, with concert performances by Mesh and Cadillac Country ending the night.

"Rib Fest really brings the community together," Schafroth said. "It’s great for people out of town to see the great things Cass Lake has to offer."