Barbecue, music rock in Bayport

Lisa Doyle checks chicken and corn grilling next to the Mallards tent at Saturday’s Rockin’ Ribs on the River festival in Bayport’s Lakeside Park. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Lisa Doyle checks chicken and corn grilling next to the Mallards tent at Saturday’s Rockin’ Ribs on the River festival in Bayport’s Lakeside Park. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Mary Peters, left, and husband, Mark, enjoy barbecue chicken moments before rain fell on the Rockin’ Ribs on the River festival this afternoon. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Mary Peters, left, and husband, Mark, enjoy barbecue chicken moments before rain fell on the Rockin’ Ribs on the River festival this afternoon. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

BAYPORT — Almost three hours of mid-day rain failed to dampen crowds attending the inaugural “Rockin’ Ribs on the River” barbecue and music festival Saturday in Bayport’s Lakeside Park.

Rain that moved through the St. Croix Valley between 1 and 2:30 p.m. prevented two musical acts from performing at the festival, but once skies cleared, visitors descended on the festival, according to Todd Streeter, executive director of festival host the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.

“We had an outpouring of attendees once the skies cleared,” he said. “We had food lines for all the vendors. All the tables were full. People were coming to listen to our 7:30 (p.m.) band. People stayed all the way to the end.”

Streeter said the chamber brought the barbecue event to Bayport because most of the organization’s other events are held in Stillwater. He added that Lakeside Park was the perfect location for the new event.

“This is actually a great park,” he said. “It’s flat and it’s by the river. This is a great place to have an event like this.”

Streeter said vendors participating in the festival also were pleased with one-day turnout.

“The vendors were very happy with the turnout and the are very excited about next year,” he said.

Not only were vendors happy with the festival, so were Bayport city officials, Streeter said.

“The mayor (Susan St. Ores) sent an email congratulating us on the success of the event,” he said.

Streeter said chamber staff are wrapping up work on this year’s festival and will consider a date for next year’s event later this year. However, he added that next year’s event likely would be held on Father’s Day weekend, but might be go more than one day.

“It’s possible we’d be looking at a two-day event next year,” he said. “It’s about the timing with our other events and what we’re planning.”

 

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