Lakes are awakeOrganizers couldn’t have ordered up much better weather for the “Awake the Lakes” celebration in Alexandria – plenty of sunshine, mild breezes and temperatures in the 70s.
Organizers couldn’t have ordered up much better weather for the “Awake the Lakes” celebration in Alexandria – plenty of sunshine, mild breezes and temperatures in the 70s.
And people responded by ordering up plenty of ribs – 2,300 pounds of it, in fact, for Friday night’s Rib Fest, which kicked off the Memorial Day weekend festivities.
“It went fabulously,” said Coni McKay, director of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. “The weather was perfect, we had a huge attendance and we were very busy all evening.”
Fourteen teams entered the Rib Fest Cook-Off. For the second straight year, Brenton Engineering of Alexandria took home the coveted first place trophy in the amateur division by accumulating the most votes from the rib eaters.
Their secret? “A lot of hard work!” said one team member. “It was a labor of love,” said another. A dry rub, a just-right sauce and 12 hours of hickory smoking also helped earn Brenton votes.
On the commercial side, Rose City BBQ once again held the first place trophy high. Cooks Kenny and Tanya Ruckheim blended just the right amount of seasonings into their award-winning recipe.
The ribs were provided through Elden’s Food Fair of Alexandria.
Music from Everett Smithson Band followed by Whiplash entertained the crowd, and a fireworks show over Lake Agnes closed out the evening with a bang.
Saturday’s beautiful weather helped bring onlookers out to the Show ‘N Shine Car Show along 2nd Avenue. More than 40 vehicles were on display.
The Runestone Museum’s Breakfast with Big Ole that morning was also well attended.
A third annual Habitat for Humanity motorcycle and bicycle ride on Sunday afternoon drew about 125 motorcycles and close to 200 riders, McKay said.
About the only downbeat to this year’s “Awake the Lakes” celebration is that people missed the Heritage Fest, which featured ethnic foods, artisans and entertainment, McKay said. It wasn’t held this year.
When asked if the Heritage Fest or other activities will be added to Awake the Lakes next year, McKay said that organizers will be getting together soon to plan how to make the event bigger and better. But right now, they’re still basking in the afterglow of this year’s celebration.