2014 Grandma's Marathon annual spaghetti feed comes with a twist

By KBJR News 1

June 19, 2014 Updated Jun 19, 2014 at 9:18 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Grandma's Marathon weekend is nearly upon us, along with many of the annual traditions that come with it.

With storms a brewin' for the big weekend, one could describe the forecast for the annual Spaghetti feed as cloudy... with a chance of meatballs.

Have you ever seen 5,000 lbs. of spaghetti sauce, and more than 2,000 lbs. of noodles?

"Right this way."

For Peter Dingmann, executive Chef of the annual spaghetti feed, the sight is no surprise.

"That's normal for the Grandma's event, yea," said Dingmann.

Organizers say they expect to serve more than 8,000 plates of spaghetti at Friday's all-day feast.

"The spaghetti dinner from Michelina's has been one of the staple events here," said Bob Gustafson, PR director for Grandma's Marathon.

But this year's spaghetti dinner will feature something new... meatballs!

"Before we had a meat sauce and a marinara sauce. This year we're doing meatballs, so it kind of brings it back to what spaghetti dinner should be, ya know?" said Dingmann.

More than one thousand pounds of meatballs are cooked up and stored away, ready for the thousands of hungry runners.

"We're even prepared for the gluten-free needs of certain individuals, with these rice noodles," said Dingmann.

And in just a matter of hours this room will be filled with thousands of hungry runners.

"It's important to get the carbs in you the night or two before a marathon to store up that extra energy so that you have that available on the race course," said Gustafson.

All leftovers from the event will be sent to Second Harvest Food Bank in Duluth.

"Even the left-over food has a purpose," said Dingmann.

Gearing up for the big day one carb at time.

The all-day pasta party will be held at the DECC in Duluth on Friday from 11a-m to 9p-m.

Elsa Robins