This weekend marks Naperville’s 27th annual Ribfest.
The Naperville Exchange Club’s yearly Fourth of July weekend party will feature music, carnival rides, fireworks and, of course, ribs. To make sure you get the most out of Ribfest, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Knock Park, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know.
Longtime patrons of the event, as well as those closely involved in its planning, will tell you there are ways to maximize your enjoyment of the food and festivities. There’s more to it than bringing along a robust appetite and a just-in-case dose of antacid.
The Naperville Exchange Club knows how to take a good ribbing. This year, they’re taking it farther than they have before.
All of the revered ribbers will return for Ribfest, the club’s massive yearly celebration and biggest fundraiser, but an assortment of new features are on the non-food menu for the event, set for July 3-6 in Naperville.
The Naperville Ribfest marketing team has announced the creation and launch of the Naperville Ribfest app, available now for free from iTunes.
“We set building an iPhone app for the Ribfest experience on your smartphone as a new and effective way to reach Ribfest fans as one of the major marketing goals this year,” said Rifest marketing chairman Don Emory.
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.”
NCTV17 will be out in full swing all weekend with daily updates from Knoch Park.
— Susan Carlman (@scarlman) July 3, 2014
— Hunter Dolan (@hunterhdolan) July 3, 2014
Need to know
HOURS: Noon to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at Knoch Park in Naperville.
ADMISSION: Ribfest entry costs $15 online or at the gate, payable by cash or credit. Each ticket allows access to the park and the concert. If the event sells out in advance, there will not be tickets available at the gate. Children age 11 and younger enter free each day with a paying adult. After 8 p.m. on July 4, everyone gets in free.
FAMILY FUN TIME: From noon to 3 p.m. daily, adult tickets cost $10 each at the gate when kids are along. CARNY FUN TIME: $10 buys a mega pass for unlimited carnival rides from 12 noon until 3 p.m. Pass sales end at 2 p.m.
FOOD SPECIALS: Pulled pork sandwiches available for $5 between noon and 3 p.m. each day.
RAIN DISMAY: No refunds will be given if event is rained out.
HAPPY FOURTH: After 8 p.m. on the Fourth, entrance to the park is free
PARKING: No fest parking will be available on the Edward Hospital campus, and spaces are very limited in the downtown area near the event. Vehicles displaying placards or license plates indicating eligibility for accessible parking will be permitted to drop off passengers with disabilities at selected locations.
For more information, visit ribfest.net