Naperville Says Goodbye to Ribfest

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Goodbye Ribfest

Naperville is saying goodbye to Ribfest.

The long-running event has been a staple in the city since 1988, starting out at Rotary Hill, then making its move to Knoch Park in 1989.

Avid Ribfest-goers have been attending the event for a number of years. Whether it’s the food, music, or family fun, there’s many favorite moments to look back on.

Best Ribfest Memories

“When Sheryl Crow came here I think it was three years ago. I just love her music and her songs and she sounded great that night. But all the acts are usually good here,” said North Aurora resident Mark Guethle.

“We saw Styx here with both of our girls. And they weaseled their way all the way to the front of the stage and they were dancing, probably don’t know any Styx songs whatsoever but they were just really into it and it was fun to see that,” said Wheaton resident Cindy Slabik.

“Our first one we came to we really weren’t prepared. We came here with no chairs, no nothing. We came at dinnertime and we waited for probably an hour for ribs,” said Ben Slabik.

“Probably just when all of our family was here and our son was here with us and we all celebrated and ate a lot of food and watched the fireworks,” said Chandra Castaldo, Country Club Hills resident.

“Two years ago when my little brother got so overheated he took his shirt off and laid down and spread his arms all over the place and just laid down while eating ribs, it was pretty funny,” said Shelby Stajszczak, Mokena resident.

“Two years ago my daughter came with us and she’s in Colorado now and we did the tilt-a-whirl over there. And when I saw it, it was spinning horizontal, looked pretty neat,” said Michael Adermann, Wilmington resident. “And then I didn’t realize when we got on it, it went vertical and spun like a barrel so it was pretty interesting.”

“I think for us, it’s the family area. And the petting zoo, and the face paint and all of that,” said Villa Park resident Sarah Knutilla-Marx. “The kids look forward to it every single year. It’s one of their traditions, it’s something they associate with Fourth of July. My oldest was asking, actually when we were on our way to the fireworks, she was asking if we were going to the pork festival.”

“The corn. I almost ate all of it. I really like the corn,” said 5-year-old Addy Marx.

“When I first started coming here I was single and then I met my husband and we started coming here as a couple and now we have, bringing the next generation down to Naperville to enjoy the weather and the food,” said Libertyville resident Anita Makela.

Ribfest’s New Home

Ribfest will be roaming to Romeoville next year due to construction projects coming up at Knoch Park. But the Exchange Club of Naperville will continue to host it and raise money for the charities it supports.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.