Ready, set, ribs: Vendors, volunteers prep Naperville park for Ribfest

  • A sea of tables and chairs make up the sponsor area at Knoch Park in Naperville, which will host the 31st annual Ribfest from Wednesday through Saturday.

      A sea of tables and chairs make up the sponsor area at Knoch Park in Naperville, which will host the 31st annual Ribfest from Wednesday through Saturday. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Courtney Cyrus of Desparado's BBQ & Rib Co. sprinkles spice rub on a brisket Tuesday at Knoch Park in Naperville in preparation for the 31st annual Ribfest celebration Wednesday through Saturday. The company has won several awards in past years, including kids' choice and third place for best ribs last year.

      Courtney Cyrus of Desparado's BBQ & Rib Co. sprinkles spice rub on a brisket Tuesday at Knoch Park in Naperville in preparation for the 31st annual Ribfest celebration Wednesday through Saturday. The company has won several awards in past years, including kids' choice and third place for best ribs last year. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Dustin Hausherr gets the Wyndham booth ready Tuesday in the business expo section of the Ribfest setup at Knoch Park in Naperville in preparation for opening day Wednesday.

      Dustin Hausherr gets the Wyndham booth ready Tuesday in the business expo section of the Ribfest setup at Knoch Park in Naperville in preparation for opening day Wednesday. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Naperville's Ribfest grounds will be ready at noon Wednesday in Knoch Park to welcome hungry crowds for the event's 31st anniversary.

Business sponsors and volunteers with the Exchange Club of Naperville spent Tuesday setting up the 14-acre park with tents, tables and chairs and traveling barbecue companies and other food vendors posted awards and menus and made early preparations for smoked and spiced meats.

The festival runs noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at 724 S. West St., with entrances on Hillside Road just east of West Street; on Martin Avenue west of Washington Street; and on West Street south of Martin Avenue.

Tickets to the south side of the park, including access to all 12 competing rib vendors, are $5.

Tickets to the entire park, which includes access to main stage concerts featuring Stray Cats with Melissa Etheridge, Pitbull, Jake Owen, and Steven Tyler & the Loving Mary Band, vary in price depending on the artist and proximity to the stage.

The festival supports charities that work to eliminate child abuse and domestic violence.

It celebrates the Fourth of July with a fireworks show around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, with free admission to the south part of the park beginning at 5 p.m.

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