Only in the Northwoods: A celebration of beef and community
By Laurie Lenten
The 55th Annual Beef-a-Rama, one of Wisconsin’s wackiest cow-themed food festivals, will be held on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27- 28, throughout downtown Minocqua.
What started back in 1964 as Fish-a-Rama, a celebration to welcome fishermen to the Northwoods for opening day of the fishing season, has grown into an immensely popular autumn festival that is Minocqua’s way of saying a big, beefy thank you to visitors and customers to the area alike.
This year’s Beef-a-Rama will be no exception with events kicking off on Friday at the Minocqua Chamber of Commerce with official Beef-A-Rama Early Apparel Sales going on from 8 a.m.-noon and WRJO Radio broadcasting live from 10 a.m. to noon. Events will continue on Friday evening with registration for the Lakeland Rotary Club’s Rump Roast Run 6-9 p.m. at the American Legion Hall and live music by The Influence at Torpy Park 6:30- 9:30 p.m.
Saturday’s events will kick-off at 7 a.m. with registration for the Lakeland Rotary Club’s annual Rump Roast Run at the American Legion Hall. Street closures will begin at 7:30 a.m. with streets reopening at 5 p.m. Shuttles will run from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. from Lakeland Union High School, Hribar Corporation/Truck Country and Trig’s RV Parking. Shuttle runs are $5 per person.
Both the 5k and 10k runs will begin at 9 a.m. just north of the Minocqua Veterans Park. The course will run along the shore of beautiful Lake Minocqua and over wooded lanes before giving way to the Bearskin Trail, a former railroad bed. The Calf Mile Kids Race will begin at 8:15 a.m.
An awards ceremony with cow bells for age group winners and 16 to18-pound beef roasts for the top male and female overall finishers in the 5K and 10K will be held immediately following the runs.
To register for the Lakeland Rotary Club’s Rump Roast Run, go to www.minocqua.org and follow the links.
Some of the day’s many activities will include: a live radio broadcast by WRJO 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the Chamber Tent; the Cow Pie Plop; the Prime Choice Craft Show featuring over 70 vendors 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.; henna, face painting and glitter painting 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Veterans Park; kids games and bouncy houses 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Torpy Park; Kraft’s Kuddly Kritters Petting Zoo 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Veterans Park; kids’ games at Imaginuity 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; the Minocqua Lions Club Corn Roast and Beer Tent at Torpy Park 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and the Lakeland Rotary Beer Garden and Dunk Tank on Chicago Street 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Official Beef-a-Rama Sandwich sales will begin at 10 a.m. at Torpy Park and will continue until GONE. Sandwiches will also be sold on Chicago Street. Judging of the Beef will take place along Oneida Street from 11 a.m.-1:45 p.m. with the Beef Eating Contest, sponsored by Associated Bank, held at 11 a.m. at Torpy Park. The Stampede of Roasters will begin at 3 p.m. on Oneida Street followed by the awards ceremony at 3:15 p.m. at Torpy Park.
Live music for the day will held at different venues throughout Minocqua. Performing at the Rotary Beer Garden on Chicago Street will be Kelly Jackson – 10 a.m. to noon; Scott Kirby and the Applelove Allstars – noon to 3 p.m.; Brad Emmanuel – 3 to 5 p.m.; and the Whitehouse Players – 5 to 9 p.m. Performances at Torpy Park will include Tuck Pence – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Double Barrel with two performances – 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. A Lip Sync Battle will be held from 3:15 to 4 p.m. at Redman Realty on Oneida Street.
For more information on the 55th Annual Beef-A-Rama, log onto www.beefarama.com. To stay connected with all the happenings, download the Beef-A-Rama App in Google Play or iPhones.
Laurie Lenten is a freelance writer who lives in Rhinelander. Her articles also appear in Northwoods Commerce, Northwoods ‘boomers and Beyond and Living on the Lake magazines.