Local restaurants and businesses plan to bring the heat and grilled meat next weekend at the Wild West GrillFest in Mandan.

Seven local restaurants and businesses will compete for what judges deem the best top sirloin steak at the ninth annual GrillFest on Aug. 18. The event is only one day this year, and it will feature a vendor show, food, beer, live music and entertainment.

"GrillFest is a great event for both the people who want to come out and enjoy good music and good food, and for the local grillers," said former Arlyn Van Beek, a former Mandan mayor whose company, 604 Catering, has taken part in GrillFest for all but one of the nine years.

Van Beek said he's looking forward to the grilling competition this year. In past years, his business has either been runner-up or won the competition.

"It's a fun-based competition where we joke around with each other and we just have a lot of fun behind the scenes," he said.

Van Beek said he'll also be serving grilled sweet corn dipped in butter and Parmesan cheese — a crowd favorite.

The other businesses participating in the grilling competition are Taylor Made BBQ, Mandan Moose Lodge, Butcher Block Meats, Rock ’N Roll Tacos, Norm's Eatery and the Mandan Depot Bier Hall.

Dan Kraft, owner of Butcher Block Meats, said he'll be serving homemade country-style sausage on a stick and mesquite barbecue boneless butterfly pork chops on a bun. His business hasn't participated in GrillFest in three years, but it was able to this year because the event is only one day and doesn't tie up the whole weekend.

"I think (GrillFest) is good for Mandan, it brings people to town," Kraft said.

GrillFest will take place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Dykshoorn Park. There will also be a vendor show with more than 30 art, crafts and business vendors.

From noon to 2 p.m. and again from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Scott Prebys and Special Friends will take the stage. At 7 p.m., October Road is scheduled to play.

New this year is "human foosball," according to Vern Cermak, co-host of the event. Courts will be set up on Main Street, with people welcome to sign up to play early in the afternoon, Cermak said.

Admission from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. is $3 each or $5 a couple. After 3 p.m., tickets are $3. Admission is free for those 12 and under. People attending GrillFest are not allowed to bring pets or coolers into the park.

For more information, visit www.mandanprogress.org/mpo_events/grillfest.

Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com.


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