Phil Vassar to be headliner at Exchange Club of Naperville’s Ribfest

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Country music artist Phil Vassar will be taking the stage at the Exchange Club of Naperville’s Ribfest as its Saturday night headliner on Sept. 16.

Making his mark as songwriter and artist

Vassar has had a more than two-decade career in country music. He started off writing hits for other singers, like Tim McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years,” Collin Raye’s “Little Red Rodeo,” and Alan Jackson’s “Right on the Money.”

In 1998, he signed a record deal of his own, hitting the charts with songs like “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “In a Real Love,” “Last Day of My Life,” and “Carlene.”

Over the course of his career he’s released nine albums, been named ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist, and scored two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Trophies.

He’s also taken his talents to TV, with his Songs From The Cellar show and podcast. In it, Vassar chats with artists, entertainers, and athletes in his favorite spot for writing songs, his wine cellar.

Opening for Vassar will be country music artist and Illinois native Alexandra Kay. Tickets for their Saturday night performance go on sale Thursday, August 31, at 6 p.m. on the Ribfest website.

Ribfest in September this year

This year’s Ribfest will return to the DuPage Event Center and Fairgrounds in Wheaton, though it’s taking place a little later than usual. The Exchange Club of Naperville pushed the typically mid-summer event to September 15 through 17.

Taking the stage as headliner the night before Vassar will be Third Eye Blind. The headliner for Sunday has not yet been announced.

Besides live music, the festival will feature carnival rides, drinks, and food, with one of its big draws being its namesake: ribs. A number of rib vendors, also known as “ribbers,” traditionally turn out for the event, so the crowd has plenty to choose from.

Fundraiser to help combat child abuse, domestic violence

The festival itself is a fundraiser for the Exchange Club of Naperville, helping it support programs at dozens of area charities that help fight child abuse and domestic violence. In its 32 years, the festival has helped raise more than $18 million for the cause.

Photo courtesy: Exchange Club of Naperville’s Ribfest

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