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Rib Fest set in Cass Lake

CASS LAKE - The aroma of freshly grilled pork ribs will fill the air this weekend, as the 13th annual Cass Lake Rib Fest kicks off Thursday, with events continuing through Saturday.

All Rib Fest activities - besides the parade - will be held in the field at downtown Cass Lake, located at the intersection of 2nd Street and Elm Avenue.

"We have a lot of great things going on and it's going to be a fun time to enjoy with the family," Sue Schafroth, director of the Cass Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

The event opens Thursday evening at 6 with live entertainment from the Red Cedar Lake Band.

This will be the first year live entertainment will be provided throughout the entire three-day event, according to Schafroth.

Other musical acts scheduled to take to the stage Saturday are the bands Mesh, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and a rare appearance from Cadillac Country, who will close the weekend's festivities from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A live pow wow demonstration, a performance by magician Jordan Robinson, and other special guests will take to the stage hourly on Friday, all leading up to the annual karaoke contest sponsored by Leech Lake Gaming and the Palace Casino and Hotel.

The karaoke competition will be divided into three heats of 10 contestants beginning at 5 p.m. Schafroth said pre-registration is advised, but participants can register the day of the contest on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register, call (218) 987-2299 or send an email to There is a $10 entry fee, with a $500 cash prize awaiting the winner, along with a $250 and $100 cash prize for second and third place karaoke winners.

Vendors and area artists will be set up at the event as well, with an emphasis on American Indian arts and culture.

Kids activities will open Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., which includes inflatables and arts and crafts.

A featured art event, the Boys and Girls Club will have an arts tent where children of all ages can work together to create a mural. Schafroth said a location for the finished mural is still undetermined.

Rib Fest will start the day off Saturday with the annual parade at 11 a.m., followed by the Little Miss Cass Lake coronation at 12:30 p.m. and Miss Cass Lake competition/coronation at 2 p.m. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship from the Palace Casino.

In conjunction with Rib Fest activities, the American Legion is hosting several events including bingo from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and then again Saturday after the parade. A dart tournament will also be held 4 p.m. Saturday. The legion is hosting two concerts, which include The Charlie Nason Band playing 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and the Red Cedar Band performing 9 p.m to midnight Saturday. All funds the legion raises will benefit veterans' projects, youth activities and scholarships.

And of course, ribs will be available throughout the festival.

According to Schafroth, there will be no rib cook-off this year, but ribs will be provided by Hog on the Road and West Cedar Grill.

"We want to see lots of people come out and enjoy the food and have a good time," Schafroth said.

If you go:

What: Cass Lake Rib Fest

When: Thursday through Saturday

Where: Downtown Cass Lake

Cost: Free