Above / “Ribbers Row” is now a showcase of 11 booths hosted by award-winning competitors, already smokin’ barbecue ribs with special sauce for Naperville Ribfest 2018 in the South Park. Other festival food will be available in the North Park. Organized by the Exchange Club of Naperville, find Ribfest spread out all over Knoch Park, located along West Street, just south of Aurora Avenue, near downtown Naperville. Tickets are available at the gates.


In clear view from the Sponsors Area in the North Park, Navistar Main Stage will feature live entertainment daily from July 4-7, including Melissa Etheridge, Pitbull and Steven Tyler, just to name three.

From the North Park to the South Park and all along Martin Avenue, Knoch Park is bustling with activity as volunteers and vendors set up for four days of the 31st Annual Ribfest that runs July 4-7, 2018.

South Park vs. North Park

For clarity, tickets most definitely are available for purchase at the gates, organizers said. Tickets are $5 for everybody to the South Park where all ribbers, carnival, family area, etc., will be all four days. Children 11 and under are free to the South Park all the time when accompanied by an adult.

Also, free access to view fireworks is provided only at the South Park entrance to Knoch Park, just north of Osler and West and opens at 5PM on the Fourth of July. (Update, July 5, 2018 / Fireworks on Independence Day were postponed due to lightning and thunderstorms that illuminated the skies about 9PM when Knoch Park was evacuated to the second time that first day. Watch for fireworks to be rescheduled on July 5, likely immediately following the Pitbull concert.)

Tickets to the North Park, also available at the gate, are priced depending on the live entertainment on the Navistar Main Stage. The only sold-out night is in the VIP Area for Pitbull on July 5.

Party with a purpose at Ribfest

More than a concert venue and delicious rib-tasting event with family-friendly activities and a carnival of rides and amusements, Ribfest is a party with a purpose and a cause.

Every individual, sponsor, vendor, performer and volunteer who attends the summer festival lends a hand to the Exchange Club of Naperville so the service organization can provide grants to local nonprofit organizations in support of its mission to prevent child abuse and domestic violence.

Recognizing the missions of more than 50 local charities with financial support since the first Ribfest was held on Rotary Hill in 1988, the Exchange Club of Naperville has raised more than $16 million from its service activities at the popular festival held annual in conjunction with Independence Day.


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Steven Tyler on July 7

Thanks to community volunteers for supporting Ribfest…

Folks pictured below represent the nonprofit organizations that received 2017 Ribfest grants during the Annual Allocations Luncheon at Meson Sabika. Also pictured are Exchange Club President Robin Choquette, standing far left, and Allocations Committee Co-Chairmen Bob Black and Barry Greenberg, far right.

During the luncheon, representatives from every grant recipient were provided time for a 1-minute elevator speech about their organization and their contributions to the community that follow, in some way, the mission of the Exchange Club of Naperville and the National Exchange Club.

Most of the appreciative beneficiaries, however, used their time to express enthusiastic gratitude to all volunteers of the Ribfest organization and members of Exchange Club of Naperville.

Locally, the Exchange Club of Naperville also aims “to foster the health and growth of a strong family unit, to promote Americanism, to strengthen the education of our children and to give ourselves in service to our community.”

2017 Grant Recipients aim to assist the mission of Exchange Club

Special grants are presented annually to Exchange Club initiatives, Project HELP and Edward Care Center. 

Other social services that received 2017 Ribfest allocations are 360 Youth Services; Alive Naperville; Almost Home Kids; Breaking Free; CASA of DuPage County, Inc.; CASA of Will County; ChildServ; Community Career Center; DuPage Children’s Museum; DuPage Legal Aid; DuPage P.A.D.S., Inc.; Ecumenical Adult Day Care; The Education Center…  

Evangelical Child and Family Agency; Families Helping Families; Family Shelter Service; Fox Valley Hands of Hope; Friends of The Dupage County Children’s Center;  Gigi’s Playhouse; Hesed House; Humanitarian Service Project; I Support Community; Kids Matter; Literacy DuPage…

Little Friends, Inc.; Loaves & Fishes Community Services; Mutual Ground, Inc.; NAMI DuPage; Naperville Education Foundation; Naperville Humane Society; Our Children’s Homestead; People’s Resource Center; Prevent Child Abuse Illinois; Respite Endowment Organization; Rise From the Ashes; Royal Family Kids’ Camp;  SamaraCare (formerly Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Services); Sharing Connections… 

Teen Parent Connection (Formerly DuPage MYM); Turning Pointe Autism Foundation; VNA Health Care-Healthy Families Illinois; Wayside Cross Ministries; Western DuPage Special Recreation Association Foundation; Will County Children’s Advocacy Center; Young Life; Youth Outlook; and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

After photos for all the beneficiaries, Joel Carlsen, 2018 Ribfest Chairman; Robin Choquette, Exchange Club President; and John Dunham, 2017 Exchangite of the Year, admitted they’re geared up to do good things for 2018 Ribfest, July 4-7. when Steven Tyler will be among the featured Main Stage performers.

2018 Ribfest runs July 4-7 in Knoch Park