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Awake the Lakes RibFest turnout may have been best ever

A small rain shower that quickly blew through the area Saturday afternoon didn't stop those attending this year's annual Awake the Lakes RibFest. An estimated 2,000 people attended the event, which not only included hundreds of ribs, but also cor...

Ribs
A total of 1,480 pounds of ribs were grilled for the annual RibFest event. (Photos by Eric Morken, Echo Press)
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A small rain shower that quickly blew through the area Saturday afternoon didn't stop those attending this year's annual Awake the Lakes RibFest.

An estimated 2,000 people attended the event, which not only included hundreds of ribs, but also corn on the cob, a beer garden, music, fire department water fights, fireworks and much more.

Scott Teaser, an Awake the Lakes Board member, said, "We had a great turnout this year. We are thrilled!"

He noted it is really hard to tell exactly how many people showed up for the event, but his guesstimate of 2,000 is pretty close.

"They kept coming in waves; it was a good steady stream," said Teaser. "Actually, I think this was our best turnout yet."

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Even though there was a little burst of rain in the afternoon, which Teaser noted may have taken away from the bouncy house attendance, during the rest of the event, the weather was "pretty much perfect."

Amy Hennessy, another Awake the Lakes Board member, shared Teaser's sentiments.

"It's a great community event," said Hennessy. "It's a way to have fun and to promote the community."

The grand champion winners of this year's RibFest, according to Hennessy, were Brenton Engineering for the amateur division and Mill Lake Electric in the professional division.

During the evening festivities, shortly before the live music started, there was a presentation of this year's scholarship winners.

Hennessy noted that the scholarship program started last year with two scholarships awarded.

This year, she said, there were four recipients. Laura Urban, president of Alexandria Technical and Community College, was on-hand to help present the $1,000 scholarships.

This year's recipients are Zachary Schmitz, Dylan Lee, Michael Burg and Dustin Johnson.

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