The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

August 5, 2013

RibFest: Great weather, record crowds

Adrian Peterson unscheduled final-day attraction at Ribfest


The Vikings didn’t stay for the Mary Jane Alm Band, Sunday’s music headliner, but hundreds of others did. Stevenson was back after attending Thursday for Black Hawk and Saturday for Loverboy.

“Good crowds. The music is good. The Big Boned rocks,” said Stevenson, differing with Peterson about the best rib stand to visit.

He said the Saturday night crowd for Loverboy somewhat overwhelmed the beer stands and the portable toilets, but he praised RibFest’s move from downtown to Riverfront Park, saying he didn’t miss the heat reflecting off the downtown asphalt a bit.

Lyman, who as executive director of the Verizon Wireless Center is in charge of the city-sponsored RibFest, pretty much echoed Stevenson’s review of the 16th annual event.

“Obviously Mother Nature cooperated,” Lyman said. “... It’s been the best weather we’ve ever had.”

Attendance figures won’t be calculated for another day or two, but Lyman expects every night may have set a record for that particular night and Saturday set the overall record for biggest RibFest crowd. He agreed that the lines for beverages and for toilets got a bit too long, even though organizers thought they were more than ready for a huge Saturday night crowd.

“They just kept coming and coming,” Lyman said.

As for the rainless, lightning-free, 70-something-degree weather, Lyman may have figured out the secret. For the first time, he bought rain insurance prior to this year’s RibFest. He won’t be collecting a dime of payment from the insurer, and that might make him happiest of all.

“I’ll be buying it every year,” he said.



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