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updated: 7/19/2013 4:13 PM

Naperville Ribfest crowds total 150,000 over 5 days

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  • Roughly 150,000 people attended Naperville's five-day Ribfest celebration this year, with the largest crowds on July 4 for the fireworks and July 7 for a performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

       Roughly 150,000 people attended Naperville's five-day Ribfest celebration this year, with the largest crowds on July 4 for the fireworks and July 7 for a performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Roughly 150,000 people experienced the barbecue, main stage bands and family fun of the Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest this year, organizers said Friday.

Ribfest Chairman Marty Walker said the event's two busiest days were July 4, which featured country musicians and a fireworks display, and July 7, when Lynyrd Skynyrd performed as part of the five-day event's grand finale.

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Preliminary ticket sales figures indicate 18,848 people packed Knoch Park on July 4 for the second day of the 26th annual festival and 18,080 people attended July 7.

Ribfest attendance on July 3, 5 and 6 hit 12,378, 16,327 and 16,420, respectively.

Those totals don't include kids younger than 12, who get in free, and Walker said about 30,000 of them came to Ribfest throughout the festival. Thousands of volunteers and security employees also contributed to this year's estimated 150,000 total attendance.

Last year, organizers said about 25 percent fewer people than usual visited Ribfest because of a heat wave and rounds of strong thunderstorms that left thousands of suburban residents without power.

Exchange Club members still are paying bills and working to compile the total amount of money raised this year, which will be distributed in March to area charities that work to end child abuse and domestic violence.

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