Skillet throws in Macksburg

Minneapolis rider Oliver Dykstra did a little victory dance after he toppled the basketball head off a dummy in game on the Macksburg town square.

“Yeah, I’ve been training,” he joked.

Dykstra – and probably all but a few of the other riders – had no idea Macksburg is the home of the National Skillet Throw. The annual tradition started in 1975 and works like this: Participants toss old cast steel (not iron) skillets at dummies 30 feet away. If they manage to decapitate them, they win. Simple as that.

Organizer Georgina Breakenridge said the tradition gained worldwide attention when the Associated Press covered it during its early years. In the late 1980s, a team from Japan showed up and won the title.

“Only one of them could speak English, but they understood the concept just fine,” she said.

She passed out stickers to RAGBRAI participants and certificates to winners like Dykstra: $5 off the registration fee for the next annual contest, on June 19, 2010.

Rider Steve Spengler of Kailua, Hawaii, posed for a photo in a cut-out near the game.


– Michael Morain

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