Ribfest Tips & FAQ


North Park wristbands sponsored by

Full Park General Admission includes admission to the park, all free activities, and all concerts for the day.  All individuals, including children 2+ must be ticketed to use the FULL PARK GENERAL ADMISSION. Food, beverage, and carnival are extra. Bring your own chairs/blankets.

South Park General Admission includes admission to the South Park, all free activities and concerts in the South Park for the day.  Food, beverage, and carnival are extra. Bring your own chairs/blankets.  Children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult with a ticket.  South Park General Admission does NOT include admission to the North Park Navistar Main Stage.

Standing Room Only includes Full Park General Admission plus the front standing room area in front of the Navistar Main Stage.  Please note:  Everyone must be ticketed to enter the Standing Room Only (front of stage).  NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN. NO CHAIRS OR BLANKETS ARE PERMITTED IN THE STANDING ROOM ONLY AREA. 

Sponsor Tent / VIP Admission includes Full Park General Admission to Ribfest, plus admittance to the Sponsor Tent / VIP Area, unlimited beverages (proudly serving Gnarly Head wines), one ½ slab rib dinner, and an excellent view of Navistar Main Stage Entertainment. The Sponsor Tent / VIP Area has a large tent, upgraded restrooms, large grassy area and tables and chairs. Children 11 and under, accompanying an adult with a sponsor / VIP ticket, are admitted to Ribfest and to the Sponsor Area for free and receive a hotdog meal, water/pop and treats. Carnival is extra.

Skybox Suite Admission includes Full Park General Admission to Ribfest, plus admittance to the Skybox Suite with unlimited food and beverage (proudly serving Gnarly Head wines), an elevated view of the Navistar Main Stage, stadium seating AND tables and chairs, upgraded restrooms, and a host/hostess.  Please note: Everyone must be ticketed to enter the Skybox.

Ticket Upgrades On-Site

Ticket upgrades are available. See Eventbrite ticket page for all possible options.

Q. Who puts on Ribfest?

A. Ribfest is a fundraiser put on by the Exchange Club of Naperville to raise funds to help fight child abuse, domestic violence and to strengthen families in our local communities. We are proud to be celebrating the 32nd year of Ribfest and to date have contributed over $17.5 million back to our community to support this effort. Volunteer run and mission driven, Ribfest is always in need of more volunteers! The Exchange Club of Naperville welcomes anyone to join our membership that shares our vision for a better tomorrow. For more info check out our website exchangeclub.org

Q. What Gate do I enter?

Full Park General Admission, Sponsor Tent/VIP, Skybox Suite and Front of Stage Ticket Holders  – Use Any General Admission Gate.

Sponsor Tent/VIP Area – Use Any General Admission Gate or The VIP Entrance On West St.

South Park General Admission – Use the General Admission Gates on West St. (South Entrance) or the East Gate Entrance on Martin (only accessible by way of Washington St.)

Please note:  South Park General Admission ticket holders may not enter the North Park Entrance.  Walk down West St. to the South Park Entrance.

Q. What happens when the park closes due to crowd capacity?

A. The decision to close the gates of Ribfest due to crowd density is the decision of the City of Naperville Police and Fire Departments in concert with Ribfest leadership. Their decision to close for public safety is based on the ability of people to get out of the park in case of emergency. Crowd density is determined by examination of the flow of people primarily by the stage. If the walkways remain open and clear and people can move around, the city will keep our gates open. In recent years, date specific tickets have helped Ribfest avoid overcrowding and park closing. However, we can never guarantee the park won’t close.

Q. Does the park close if it rains?

A. No, Ribfest will remain open if it rains but close temporarily during periods of lightning. Ribfest works with the Local Emergency Management Weather team to monitor the weather approaching Ribfest. Ribfest will temporarily close during any period where lightning is present. All guests will be asked to leave the park at that time. When radar indicates “all clear”, the park re-opens.

Up to date information, in the event of a concern about the park closing, is posted or tweeted.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Q. Where can I park at Ribfest?

A. Ribfest has very little parking close-in to Knoch Park. The best parking is the free parking and free shuttle Ribfest offers. Updated shuttle information will be available in Spring 2019.

Non-Ribfest connected groups operate parking lots near Knoch Park. Ribfest does not have reliable information on non-Ribfest parking, prices, locations, hours. 

Q. Where is the best place at Ribfest to watch the fireworks presented by Meijer?

A. Don’t sit directly in front of the Navistar Main Stage for FIREWORKS.  The equipment may block your view.  Everywhere else in the park is excellent viewing!

Q. What do you suggest a family bring for a day at Ribfest?

A. Summertime in Naperville can be quite sunny and warm. Ribfest suggests that you bring sun block and sunglasses. The dining tents provide shady spots to eat and rest. Wear comfortable shoes because Ribfest is around 20 acres in size and almost all of it is on grass. Rides and activities in the Wintrust Family Area are free with admission.  With a general admission ticket or front of stage ticket,  food, beverage, and carnival games and rides are extra.

Q. I think I left something at Ribfest. How do I retrieve it? Lost and Found

A. Lost & Found is located in the North Park at the Radio Trailer. Ask a police officer or Exchangite for an escort to Lost & Found.

Q. What if I get separated from my child? What is Child ID?

A. Ribfest provides child identification inside each of the three main gates at Ribfest. Child registration can help if you become separated from your child.

HINT:  take your child’s photo right before you enter the park.

If your child gets lost, immediately contact the nearest police officer or Ribfest representative and provide them with a detailed description of your child– clothing, age, name, last location etc.

Q. Is there any re-entry into the park allowed?

A. Re-enter the park by getting a hand stamp before you leave. (Re-entry not guaranteed but rarely a problem).


What not to bring to Ribfest:

Anything that may create a safety hazard or interfere with other patrons enjoyment of Ribfest including:

  • Coolers of any size

  • Pets. EXCEPTION- Service animals with documentation

  • Illicit drugs

  • Alcohol of any kind

  • Food including snacks

  • Beverages of any kind. EXCEPTIONS- 1 liter total of factory sealed non-flavored water per patron and baby formula

  • Weapons of any kind including “Concealed Carry” firearms

  • Large umbrellas

  • Intergalactic aliens

  • Tables

  • Glass containers

  • Bad attitudes

  • Filming/recording equipment

  • Zombies

  • Musical instruments

  • Signs