By Dave Crawley

NORTH SHORE (KDKA) — Marching in Pittsburgh’s Labor Day Parade can work off a lot of calories. So can running in the “Steelers 5K.”

But many participants gained them back – and more – on the final day of Rib Fest.

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A standing room only crowd jammed the grounds beside Heinz Field. Stacy Bradley’s father started Bad Azz BBQ to pay tuition to IUP.

“We do a different farmers market every day of the week,” she says, “and any festival and catering that we can get into.”

When the summer season is over, she’ll return to school. Meanwhile, Jessica Girson of Hampton Township nibbles on ribs, as she waits in line for more.

“Why not?” she says. “There’s 20 rib places. I want to try them all.”

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Six-year-old Gracie Joseph serves Old Fashioned Soda, a company owned by a pair of farm families.

“We don’t have any additives into it, just the basic recipe for soda pop,” says co-owner Linda Diamond. “The flavors are very much the old fashioned flavors.”

Flavors range from birch beer to sarsaparilla. Rib Fest is as much a tradtion as the Labor Day Parade. Marchers are joined by runners from the “Steelers FiveK Run.”

Barb Mattocks of Seivers Concesions says thirsty runners line up for lemonade.

“And then we entice them,” she adds. “When they look at our chicken, they look at our turkey legs, and then they buy. Then they need more lemonade, and they come back again.”

Five-K runner Tracie Simonelli has ribs, chicken and turkey. As for calories, she says, “Run them back off later.”

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