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Rib cook-off, 5K scheduled for Lakefield's Summerfest

LAKEFIELD -- If summer means fun, Summerfest in Lakefield means opportunities for fun, from the rib cook-off to the community church service and the 5K walk/run to the parade.

"The best thing about Summerfest for the people who attend is meeting family and friends and having fun in a small-town atmosphere," said Kelly Rasche, Summerfest Committee member. "There is something to do for all ages, from the kids' games in the park on Friday night to the street dance for the adults on Saturday night and the church service on Sunday."

One of the new events this year will be the Rib Cook-Off, which will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday under the tent on Main Street. Already, at least seven cooks have registered for the event, but people can also register on the day off the contest. The Jackson County 4-H will offer cole slaw, beans and a beverage for a small donation.

The Fleming Dance Academy from Canada will perform after the parade Saturday on Main Street.

Registration for the fifth annual Kids Against Hunger 5K Walk/Run, a Summerfest charitable tradition, will begin at 7 p.m. at North Park. Runners begin the race at 8 a.m., and walkers follow at 8:15 a.m.

"It is a marvelous, marvelous community opportunity for people to get together and do things as a family, as a neighborhood, as a church, as a club group," said Marless Cuperus, fundraising coordinator for the Jackson County KAH. "It's a marvelous, positive social event, but more importantly, it is an opportunity to do something for someone beyond yourself."

All funds raised from the 5K Walk/Run will go to purchase meals for hungry people around the world. The meals, which cost only 13 cents each, are sent directly to recognized organizations such as the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders or specific orphanages, ensuring the food goes to starving people rather than to the black market or to a dictator's stockpile.

In order to make the goal of 100,000 meals, the local KAH group will need to raise $13,000.

Jackson County Kids Against Hunger will also honor its 10 sponsors this year as part of its fifth anniversary. Those sponsors are: Avera United Medical Clinic, Windom; Bannister Repair, Lakefield; John Beardsley, D.D.S., Lakefield and Jackson; Buresch Seed Supply, Lakefield; Hi-Lo Club, Lakefield; David M. Kruse, O.D., Jackson and Lakefield; L.L. Woodke Engines, Lakefield; Post Electric, Lakefield; Swoboda Chiropractic, Lakefield; and Dale W. Temlitz, BPA, Lakefield.

Last year about 80 people participated in the Walk/Run, which is one of only two annual fundraisers for the Jackson County Kids Against Hunger. Cuperus hopes to get a larger crowd of participants this year.

"The course is entirely within Lakefield city limits, so we don't cross any major highways. An experienced runner... has laid out and measured the course to the inch, practically, and has picked as flat a route as possible," Cuperus said. "The runners love it because they are going to make their maximum times here."

All competitors will have their times recorded, and the route will feature water stations.

Anyone interested in making a donation may write a check to Kids Against Hunger, care of Marless Cuperus, 909 N. Pleasant St., Lakefield 56150. Contact Cuperus with questions at or call (507) 662-5254.

Here's the Summerfest schedule of events:


11 a.m. -- Salad Luncheon, Legion Hall


6 p.m. -- Rib Cook-Off, under the tent on Main Street

9 p.m. -- Late Swim, Lakefield Aquatic Center


10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Retired Book Sale, JCC Middle School Auditorium 

5 p.m. -- Steak & Shrimp Feed, VFW

6 p.m. -- Family Fun Night, North City Park


8 a.m. -- Kids Against Hunger 5K Walk/Run, North City Park

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Retired Book Sale, Jackson County Central Middle School Auditorium

9 to 10:30 a.m. -- Coffee and Rolls, American Legion Hall

9 a.m. -- Craft, Antique and Flea Market, tent on Main

9 a.m -- Car Show, North City Park

9 a.m. -- Golf Scramble, Emerald Valley Golf Club, shotgun start 

10 a.m. -- Pet Show, tent on Main

10 a.m. -- American Legion Food, Legion Hall

11 a.m. -- Methodist Church & Ambulance Auxillary, Multi Purpose Center

2 p.m. -- Parade

Following the parade -- All-community pictures and watermelon feed, Main Street near the Lakefield Standard office; Fleming Dance Academy performance of "Forever and a Day," Main Street; open swimming at Lakefield Aqautic Center

8 p.m.  -- Street dance, tent on Main; beer garden, tent on Main


8 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Breakfast, Legion Hall

10:30 a.m. -- Christian Music and Community Church Service, tent on Main