Ribfest 2013

Ribs were once again a hot commodity at the Naperville Exchange Club’s 26th annual Ribfest held in Knoch Park. 13 vendors from across the country came to prove who really has the best ribs, but how do you find those perfect ribs where there’s so many to choose from? Many say you may just have to try them all.

“I try to sample something from everywhere and then make a decision at the end of the day where to go back,” said Lisle resident Frank Butler, who has been coming to Ribfest since its inception.

“I actually try a new one every year,” said Naperville resident Cecily Schinelli. “I like to try a new one because they all improve over the years.”

Another element bringing people back year after year is the entertainment, and this year was no different.

Styx kicked off Ribfest on the main stage Wednesday night. Then on Thursday, country fans could see American Idol finalist, Casey James. One unexpected act was Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison who sang for the crowd in honor of Independence Day.

Fest goers got to meet Cornelison after his performance and the entire city gathered together to take in the annual 4th of July fireworks display set to music.

On top of all the good times had at Ribfest, attendees also supported a good cause. The Exchange Club donates all proceeds to various local organizations that work to stop child abuse and domestic violence and has given over $13 million over the past 26 years.

“Not only is it fun to home to and be with family, but the money goes to a good cause. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Janice Hennessy, a Naperville resident.

Although we won’t know the final numbers until later this year, the Exchange Club said they’re on track to having the biggest Ribfest ever. The Exchange Club will distribute the Ribfest proceeds to more than 50 not-for-profits at their annual allocation luncheon in the spring.


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