Ribs, music and "reasonably good weather" came together over the Fourth of July weekend to make the 27th annual Naperville Exchange Club Ribfest an enjoyable time for thousands, organizers said Monday.
Ribfest Chairman Dan DeBoo said crowds of roughly 20,000 people attended each day of the four-day festival to indulge in slow-smoked barbecue, take a spin on carnival rides and sway with the beat of country, rock and Latin tunes.
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While organizers said Ribfest was well-attended, spokesman Don Emery said they never had to close the gates to Knoch Park because of overcrowding.
Desperado's, a traveling rib vendor from Ohio, won best ribs during a competition held Saturday, and later that day, Latin acts like Del Castillo, Contrabanda, La Obra, Viaje and Rio Bamba took the stage during the festival's first Hispanic Day.
"The musicians were very accomplished and came across positively," DeBoo said.
Organizers on Monday did not yet have an estimate of how much money will be left to donate after paying festival expenses. Proceeds will be distributed next spring among the 52 DuPage County charities Ribfest supports -- all of which work toward ending child abuse and domestic violence.
Last year's festival raised $548,000, and Ribfest has generated more than $14 million in donations since the event began in 1987.
DeBoo said Knoch Park cleanup would conclude Tuesday to return the land to park district use.
"The enjoyment part for me is seeing everyone else is having a good time and it's safe for kids as well as the adults that attended," DeBoo said. "I think that was the case."