Naperville Ribfest returns next week with bands, beer, rides and of course, the ribs.
And if you’ve got an iPhone, getting around Ribfest just got a whole lot easierthanks for a newly created Ribfest app. In addition to a map of the Ribfest grounds, the app includes tabs for rib vendors, geo-positioning, music, food and drink locations, tickets, shuttles, parking and other attractions, said Don Emery, Ribfest marketing chairman.
The app can also send push notifications with up-to-the-minute changes or weather updates, he said. There’s even a flame image so people can hold up their phones instead of lighters during concerts.
“It does all the basics — who’s playing where, what’s happening in the family area and also what are the special events we’ve got going on day to day,” Emery said. “Beyond that, not only can you look at who are the food vendors, but it gives you a little bit of their history and what their menu is.”
Also new this year is an upgrade on the second entertainment stage.
“We have the BoDeans on the opening night, and on the other stage we have BritBeat, which is one of the top Beatles cover bands. There is just different music, so you have a choice,” Emery said. The second stage features Latin bands all day Saturday.
Some other Ribfest highlights include:
† Miller Lite has been holding bags tournaments at 200 bars in Chicagoland, and the championship rounds will be at Ribfest July 5-6 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
† Road crews from Disney, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago White Sox will be doing giveaways and contests.
† If you know how to spell “sriracha,” you’ll want to test your mettle at the Rolaids “Eat Your Words” spelling bee. Participants will be asked to spell heartburn-related words at competitions held multiple times during each event day at the Rolaids tent. Winners receive a T-shirt and bragging rights, and all participants get free samples and coupons.
† The Naperville Bank and Trust and Junior Savers Family Area is open from noon to 8 p.m. July 3- 6, with daily events such as a petting zoo, Euro bungee jumping, face painting, balloon twisters, inflatables, jousting, a mechanical bull and laser tag.
† A Family Fun Time carnival megapass costs $10 and gets you unlimited carnival rides from noon to 3 p.m. July 3-6.
When it comes to the ribs, judging is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 5 with winners announced at 3 p.m.
“We have 12 ribbers there, and they are among the best in the country. Most of them are one-time or multiple national-champion guys from all across the country. Most of them have been with us 10 to 15 years,” Emery said. “We have very high standards. We are one of the three or four biggest rib events in the country.”
Ribfest has the honor of being named Best Festival several times by Festival magazine, he said.
“For a bunch of volunteers, it’s a very well-run event,” he said. “Last year, we gave away $600,000 to 52 charities.”
Ribfest is one of the most cost-effective fun days you can spend with your family, he said.
“It’s quite affordable as a venue and it’s a safe environment for your kids. It’s a great to have a picnic,” Emery said. “And for people who like music, it’s a fun place to go see bands. It’s a multi-faceted place where if you like food — whether it is ribs or one of the 30 auxiliary food vendors there — you are going to have great food to eat. And it’s a great place to hang out.”
The Independence Day fireworks will be held at 9:30 p.m. July 4 in a show choreographed to music.
Eyes to the Skies Hot Air Balloon Festival
For the 32nd year, balloons will fly in Lisle.
Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Hot Air Balloon Festival begins July 2 and runs through toJuly 6 at Lisle Community Park. The carnival days are July 2 and 6. The balloon launches begin at 5:30 a.m. July 3-5, and the fest closes up shop at 11 p.m.
“Over the years, we are continuing to expand our children’s area. There will be some smaller rides in the children’s area that toddlers can go on, as opposed to the bigger, faster rides in the main carnival,” said Roger Leone, logistics manager for the festival. The children’s area will have crafts, games, face painting, soccer and martial arts demonstrations, performers from Premier Princess Parties, temporary tattoos and live music running throughout the fest. There will be booths from Legoland Discovery Center and Science Made Fun on July 3 and 5.
On July 3, the children’s stage will rock with music by The Magnifiers, Miss Michelle Bell (fire dancer and hula hooper), and magic storyteller Chris McBrien.
On July 4, kids can play Chaser laser tag, see a reptile show, and see performances by Ken Schultz the Flying Fool and also Hawaiian dancers. Representatives from Cosley Zoo and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will be on hand July 5, along with juggler Jason Kollom, the Rope Warrior and critters from the Big Run Wolf Ranch.
Elsewhere, look for two food courts and two stages for music and live entertainment, as well as a craft show, which brings together nearly 100 local and national crafters to sell artwork, jewelry, clothing and other arts and craft show staples.
Back again are tethered balloon rides ($20) featuring more than two dozen balloons offering patrons the chance to take a secured ride in a hot air balloon. The balloons are tied off at multiple points on the field and rise up between 50 to 100 feet in the air, hovering there for a short time so you can get the view from above. Rides are on a first-come first-serve basis and are located west of the bridge on Short Street inside the festival entrance.
“It’s another facet of the festival,” Leone said. “Last year, people were giving them as gifts. It makes a nice gift — for $20 bucks, you can have someone go up in a balloon and give that experience.” Also returning are the balloon glows at night and the balloon launches in the morning.
“The balloon glows are spectacular,” he said.
The balloon launches begin around 6 a.m. and last until about 8 a.m. Several thousand bystanders are expected to show up for the launch viewing. There will be no car show this year, but there will be a parade and fireworks three nights of the fest. The holiday parade steps off at 11 a.m. July 4 along Main Street, from Jonquil to Burlington. Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. July 3, 4 and 5.
Ribfest Music Lineup
There will be no shortage of good music at Naperville’s Ribfest this year. A wide variety of acts will perform on two stages throughout the four-day festival in Knoch Park. Headlining this year are the BoDeans on July 3; Love and Theft on July 4; Roger Hodgson (former lead singer of Supertramp) on July 5; and George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat on July 6. The schedule follows:
Navistar Main Stage July 3
Noon: Naperville School of Rock
1:30 p.m.: Thirsty Boots
3 p.m.: LAVA Rock
4:30 p.m.: Junk Yard Groove
6:30 p.m.: Heartsfield
8:30 p.m.: BoDeans
Ribber Row Stage July 3
1 p.m.: Radio Disney
3 p.m.: The Ents
4:30 p.m.: No Love For Linus
6 p.m.: Dan Peters & The West Side Winders
8 p.m.: BritBeat
Navistar Main Stage July 4
12 p.m.: Billy Croft & The 5 Alarm
1:30 p.m.: Eric Lambert & Friends
3:30 p.m.: Brynn Marie
5 p.m.: The Henningsens
6:30 p.m.: Love and Theft
8 p.m.: The Voices
Ribber Row Stage July 4
12:30 p.m.: Arbor Creek
2 p.m.: Alligatorbreath
3:30 p.m.: Black Cat Bone
5 p.m.: Hardened Bunker Rock & Soul Review
6:30 p.m.: Toronzo Cannon
8:30 p.m.: Million Dollar Quartet
Navistar Main Stage July 5
12:30 p.m.: Mason Rivers
2 p.m.: Within 4 Days
3:30 p.m.: OMT
5 p.m.: Gurus of Blues
6 p.m.: 7th Heaven
8:30 p.m.: Roger Hodgson
Ribber Row Stage July 5
12:30 p.m.: Battle of the Bands
1:30 p.m.: Viaje
3 p.m.: La Obra
4:30 p.m.: Rio Bamba
6:30 p.m.: Contrabanda Live
8:30 p.m.: Del Castillo
Navistar Main Stage July 6
12:30 p.m.: Live Wire
2 p.m.: Bad Medicine
4:30 p.m.: Foghat
6:30 p.m.: Blue Oyster Cult
8:30 p.m.: George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Ribber Row Stage July 6
1 p.m.: Phosphene
2:30 p.m.: The Righteous Hillbillies
4 p.m.: Mr.Blotto
6:30 p.m.: Dirty Dozen Brass Band
8:30 p.m.: Sonny Landreth
Eyes to the Skies lineupVanKampen Stage July 3
6 p.m.: Nick Lynch
8 p.m.: Fuedin’ HillbillysRiverview Stage July 3
6 p.m.: The Hot Sauce Committee
7 p.m.: Rod Tuffcurles & The Benchpress
9 p.m.: Sixteen Candles
VanKampen Stage July 4
4 p.m.: OMT
6 p.m.: Reeley Dan
8 p.m.: Chicago Tribute AnthologyRiverview Stage July 4
1 p.m.: In Like Flynn
3 p.m.: Voo Davis
5 p.m.: Your Villain My Hero
7 p.m.: Shape Shifter
9 p.m.: Wedding Banned
VanKampen Stage July 5
4 p.m.: The Fold
6 p.m.: The Personnel
8 p.m.: Gin BlossomsRiverview Stage July 5
2 p.m.: Gone 2 Paradise
4 p.m.: BOSTYXX
6 p.m.: According to Sarah
9 p.m.: The Trippin BilliesTags: festivals, Ribfest