1. Park far away. No, seriously, park far away from the festival and take a shuttle from one of five locations: Naperville North High School, 899 Mill St.; the Burlington lot near the Naperville Metra station, 105 E. 4th Ave.; North Central College near the football field, 450 S. Brainard St.; Cowlishaw Elementary School, 1212 Sanctuary Lane; and Neuqua Valley High School, 2360 95th St.; as well as 12 extra locations on July 4. Check ribfest.net for shuttle hours on Thursday to Saturday, July 3 to 5. Shuttles do not run on Sunday, July 6.
2. Remember, tickets buy beer. Cash doesn't buy beer. Credit cards don't buy beer. Tickets do. Buy tickets at one of five booths located near beer/wine booths and pop tents, then step up to buy the beverage itself. Each ticket costs $1. Pop or water costs 2 tickets, beer and wine cost 5 tickets and frozen drinks are 7 tickets.
3. Leave some things behind. Like coolers, large umbrellas, pets, weapons, glass containers, fireworks, tables, tents, tarps, Frisbees, beach balls and outside beverages other than factory-sealed water bottles. These things aren't allowed in Knoch Park during Ribfest. A security force of 125 Naperville police officers, Naperville Park District police officers and private security guards will be checking visitors' bags for banned items and watching crowds to ensure safety.
4. Don't get shut out. The park has a maximum capacity of 55,000, and if organizers or police and security personnel think it's getting so full that people can no longer freely move on walkways, they'll close the gates and no one will be allowed in until some of the crowd leaves.
5. Bring a towel or chairs. There will be two large eating tents with shade and tables, roughly 30 picnic tables and a handful of taller tables for diners to stand and eat. But those spaces could fill up quickly, so a towel, picnic blanket or chairs could come in handy.