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Ribfest 2013: Behind the Scenes

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MANKATO, Minn. -

Arguably, the most mouth-watering time of the year in Mankato has arrived.

 
Ribfest has kicked off, and grillers are ready to showcase their prize-winning meats.

It's a mixture of art and classified information.
 
"These are St. Louis-style spare ribs--they've been rubbed with our secret, special barbecue rub," said Paul Myers of Texas Thunder BBQ.
 
And when it comes to taste and texture, preparation is key.
 
"Our brisket smokes for 14 hours," said Pat Nelson of Big Boned BBQ.
 
"As far as the setup, we load the smokers overnight with the beef and pork," said Terrence Williams of Chicago Style BBQ.
 
All the above effort are dedicated to win the coveted People's Choice Award, which by the way went to Texas Thunder BBQ last year.
 
"We are absolutely defending our title, we've been talking about it all week long," said Myers. "We're going to serve the best ribs we've ever served in Mankato this year."

And other ribbers such as Nelson want the award equally as much.
 
"We did come here to win," Nelson said. "I tell you what, there's nothing I want more than to win the People's Choice award this year."
 
And aside from the mouth-watering meats, don't forget about the entertainment.

The Vetterstone Amphitheater will be rocking during the festival with groups through Sunday.