Naperville Ribfest naming new mascot in Saturday reveal

  • The new Naperville Ribfest mascot, so far called "Piggy Needs a Name," will get a permanent moniker in a contest the Exchange Club is hosting among Naperville-area students. The mascot will be named in time for the 30th annual festival to kick off June 30.

    The new Naperville Ribfest mascot, so far called "Piggy Needs a Name," will get a permanent moniker in a contest the Exchange Club is hosting among Naperville-area students. The mascot will be named in time for the 30th annual festival to kick off June 30. Courtesy of Exchange Club of Naperville

 
 

The new mascot created for the 30th year of Ribfest in Naperville has overalls and a guitar, and soon, he'll even have a name.

"Piggy Needs a Name," as the nearly 7-foot tall mascot has been known since festival organizers created him earlier this year, will be christened with a permanent moniker during a downtown event beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday.

At Naperville Bank & Trust at 5. S. Washington St., the big piggy that will roam Knoch Park throughout the four-day fest that runs June 30 through July 3 will gain its true identity.

The ceremony comes after a contest the Exchange Club of Naperville hosted to let children name the new mascot. Ribfest spokeswoman Erin O'Donnell said she didn't know the exact number of names submitted by classes of elementary and middle school students in the Naperville area, but there were plenty of creative options.

"We got a lot of people interested," O'Donnell said. "There was great excitement for coming up with a name."

The class that suggested the chosen name will be given 30 free tickets to Ribfest on July 1, 2 or 3, days when kids younger than 11 are admitted free and can bring an adult guest with them.

At Saturday's reveal, the club also will announce who will be inside the new pink-and-blue pig suit that will come to symbolize Ribfest, a fundraising event that donates to charities aiming to end child abuse and domestic violence.

The Exchange Club hosted auditions for piggy performers, seeking "athletic and energetic," "fun and bubbly" mascoteers to interact with crowds. O'Donnell said organizers chose a crew of three such people to take turns in the role.

After announcing the real name of "Piggy Needs a Name" and introducing the mascot performers, Saturday's event will move to Centennial Beach, 500 Jackson Ave., for festivities from 12:15 to 12:50 p.m.

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