2nd Annual Lake Superior Ribfest Returns

DULUTH, Minn.– After more than a year, Bayfront Park got a taste of a busy summer with Grandma’s Marathon last weekend. This weekend, the tastings continue with participants trading their running shoes for some racks of ribs.

Tents, vendors, and visitors filled Bayfront Park last weekend for the marathon. Now this weekend, it was tastier.

The smell of barbeque filled their air in Bayfront Friday as the 2nd annual Lake Superior Ribfest returned after not taking place last year due to the pandemic.

“The crowds have exceeded our expectations so far,” said Ribfest Promoter Walt Aplin.

Nine sauces and seasonings of ribs were available to taste from original to ghost pepper. Thousands of people made their way in to eat more than 3,000 pounds of ribs from Stokke’s meat market — enough meat for 5,000 people.

“It’s a lot of meat,” Aplin said.

Tips from the beverage stands were also being donated for research on multiple sclerosis. After not having Ribfest in 2020, organizers are glad to bring the area together through their love of barbeque.

“It’s so great. I mean we’re so happy to be back down at Bayfront Park. We have seven events this summer down here at Bayfront and we’re happy to be back in business,” said Aplin. “It’s really a lot of fun. It’s great to see the turnout and to put this together so it’s exciting for sure.”

Attendees walked through the different flavors at Bayfront. Including Alex Meehan and Payton Johnson who were visiting from the Twin Cities.

“We’re here for the weekend. We heard about it, sounds delicious, it’s been delicious. Good deals on ribs,” said Meehan.

The two say they like their ribs a little salty with plenty of fat. They say they hope to hit the grills here again next year.

“We tried original, Jamaican jerk, the bourbon one, porchetta, and buffalo ranch. They’ve all been great,” said Meehan. “It’s a nice welcoming way to come into Duluth in the summer,” said Johnson.

Meat lovers won’t have to go far as the Lake Superior Bratfest will also be at Bayfront Park on Saturday.

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