Naperville Ribfest Tips & FAQ

Q. Who puts on Ribfest and Why?

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 celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ribfest and we have contributed over $15.5 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

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. Once the gates are closed, no one is allowed in once they leave Ribfest.

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 the lightning is safely past the park, Ribfest will re-open.

Park Closing details can also be received by signing up on Twitter – @naperribfest or visiting this website. Make sure you have your hand stamped before you leave Ribfest so that you can re-enter once Ribfest opens again.

Q. Where can I park at Ribfest?

A. Ribfest encourages our guests to park in one of our remote parking lots and take one of the free shuttle Ribfest provides. There are many not for profit groups that park cars for a donation near Knoch Park, but there are ample lots that parking is FREE and the shuttle will take you to and from Knoch Park, you can find a parking map at

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

A. There are very few bad locations at Ribfest to watch the fireworks presented by Meijer but spaces are quickly taken so we suggest coming to Ribfest early to get a good spot!!!

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 tan lotion and sunglasses. The dining tents provide shady spots to eat and rest. Wear good shoes because Ribfest is around 20 acres in size and almost all of it is on grass. All of the rides and events in the Ribfest Family Area are free with your gate admission, but you might want to bring some extra money for food and beverages and the Carnival Area rides. Most of all, bring patience and have fun.

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

A. For any Lost and Found – please stop by lost and found in Manpower Tent. After the event, please contact the Naperville Park District.

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 ensures that if your child is separated from you that we can quickly locate both parent and child.

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. We will allow you to leave the park and come back. We do this by putting stamps on your hand when you leave and verifying when you return. *note: re-entry into the park is not guaranteed (if your stamp rubs off…). Each day we have a different colored stamp. Also if the park is closed due to capacity issues, you will not be allowed to re-enter.


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- Services 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