Naperville Exchange Club members divide themselves into 31 committees to plan, organize and host Ribfest each year. All 31 are necessary, Ribfest spokesman Don Emery says, even ones as specific as the ice committee.
"When I first started, I worked on the ice committee. We just lugged ice around all day," Emery said. "We turned it into the most important job at Ribfest."
A look at the committees:
• An expo committee that organizes all the business booths;
• A child ID committee that sets up a registration system to help in the event a parent and child get separated;
• A food committee that handles all food donated for behind-the-scenes spreads for those working the fest;
• A licensing and insurance committee, which consists of the festival chairman, unless he or she delegates the important task of making sure the festival gets all the government approvals it needs to go on; and
• A rib runner committee, a coveted job in which volunteers "ride around on golf carts with hot boxes and pick up ribs and take them to the sponsor tents, take them to the skyboxes and backstage if there is a requirement (for ribs) there," Emery said.
• Each of the 31 committees reports to one of 12 steering committee members who all report to the chairman, this year real estate agent Dan DeBoo.
• The event needs about 4,000 volunteers a year -- 1,000 each day.
• This year, volunteers come from 67 community organizations.
• 52 of those organizations benefit from funds raised at Ribfest.
• Volunteers direct drivers to parking, help out at entrance gates, sell beverage tickets, clean up trash and help with rib judging.