Ribfest 2021 has been canceled. The Exchange Club of Naperville, which organizes the event, announced the news on the event’s website, citing challenges presented by COVID-19.
The post states: “In consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 conditions and recently mandated capacity restrictions, the Club has concluded that it cannot reasonably guarantee health, safety, and success for such a large-scale public event that occurs in the early portion of the summer festival schedule and is thus susceptible to the instability of COVID-related conditions like capacity restrictions.”
The event had been scheduled for July 1 through July 4.
“Extremely Difficult Decision”
The group says it took the past few months to analyze conditions and consider how to proceed before making this “extremely difficult decision.” Organizers will now turn their attention to planning for Ribfest 2022.
In a joint statement, Bob Black, the 2021 Ribfest Chairman, and Jerry Kochurka, Exchange Club of Naperville President, stated, “As a not-for-profit organization, the Exchange Club of Naperville donates proceeds from our annual Ribfest event to multiple agencies in the fight against child abuse and domestic violence. We are, of course, greatly disappointed that circumstances have left us unable to responsibly and in good conscience hold Ribfest this year, or put our funding or any future Ribfest at risk.”
The group asks that those who wish to support the Exchange Club’s mission make a tax-deductible donation, in lieu of ticket-package purchases.
Move to Romeoville
Ribfest had previously been held in Naperville, making its home in Knoch Park for more than 30 years. But in 2019 organizers announced they would be moving the event to Romeoville, due to redevelopment planned for Knoch Park. The inaugural launch in Romeoville’s Deer Crossing Park set for 2020 was also canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.
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