📍 Street Fest by the Brainerd Jaycees in Brainerd, MN. Street Fest was started by the brained Jaycees in 2002 in joint effort with their sponsors each year. It has been great meeting local organizations you hear about a lot but don’t know much about. So I got to learn a little about who they are and what they hope to accomplish in the Brainerd Lakes Area meeting them for the first time at the All Aboard Expo at the Northern Pacific Center this past spring. The Jaycees are made up of members of young adults in our local area. Their mission is to create a positive sustainable impact on our community and world. Their goal was to produce an event that created fun and included BBQ. The first night was my favorite as Junk FM is one of my favorite Minnesota bands. They put on a hell of a show as usual so ending the evening with an ice-cold beverage and great vibes was the best! Saturday morning all the vendors start coming out and setting up for the long day ahead. The smell of the smokers and grills firing up and the ribs cooking…. You can not beat that! They had family friendly events happening all day and a few local vendors including Witch upon a Shop and Neighborhood Ice cream! Let me tell you a quick story about that too. We had the kids with and when we split up and came back to the truck, I wanted to give them a treat thinking no they haven’t had any all day and have been great. HA! Dad already did the same thing, and the best part is he knew and let me buy them one anyway and we all laughed about it right after I paid, and they opened them and started laughing. To funny. The Kids games in the early afternoon got moved to under the tent due to rain but still went on and there were a few other live performances by Katie Ziegler and Bruce archer. They do a pie and ice cream eating contest, bags tournament and then of course the main attraction is the Rib Fest. Make sure you come early because this line formed out of nowhere. Tickets were easy to purchase right at the gate and you got to try one of every booth you could get to. Again, get their early because a lot of the booths ran out before everyone got through. You get one ticket to vote for your favorite the people’s choice award and then the judges voted also. 1st Place was Stumble Inn, Second Tipsy Smoker, and 3rd went to Shep’s on 6th. The People’s choice went to Jake from State Farm. Best booth went to Dunmire’s which I support. Buffalo plaid and short shorts for the win. The day was ended on a fun note with Rhino and a beer garden. Shout out to the Brainerd Police and all the volunteers who put their time into making this happen! Next years dates are set for July 28-29, 2023 with Junk FM returning and Wicked Garden on the second night. Make sure to keep an eye out on how to enter the rib contest next year and may the odds be ever in your favor!
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