Exchange Club of Naperville's Ribfest Cancellation

Published 5/18/2020

The Exchange Club of Naperville, organizers of the 33rd annual Ribfest, have spent the past few months in constant careful situation analysis and discussion, in order to accurately and comprehensively assess the current climate for summer festivals.

In consideration of the current COVID-19 conditions and recent capacity restrictions mandated by the state, the Club has concluded that the health and safety of Ribfest attendees, volunteers, and entertainers cannot be guaranteed for such a large-scale public event. Therefore, the Exchange Club of Naperville, along with the Village of Romeoville, regretfully believes that Ribfest simply cannot go forward this year.

“The charitable nature of this annual fundraising event allows us to provide vital funds to agencies that focus their activities on the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence in all forms,” said Bob Black, Chair of Ribfest. “As disappointed as we are not to have a 4th of July with Ribfest, after all this hard work, the greatest disappointment is the impact of not being able to raise funds through Ribfest this year for those deserving nonprofit organizations.”

This extremely difficult decision comes after much deliberation about any possibility of presenting the family fun, philanthropy, dining, and music that have become synonymous with “Ribfest” for thousands of attendees every year. The Exchange Club of Naperville has been pleased to partner with the Village of Romeoville in planning this first-ever Ribfest in Deer Crossing Park, and begin optimistic planning for 2021.

“We look forward to hosting Ribfest in Romeoville come 2021,” said Romeoville Mayor John Noak. “We continue to have a strong partnership with the Exchange Club of Naperville and will continue to support its mission.”

The Exchange Club of Naperville is considering options regarding engaging musical entertainment acts for the 2021 festival, and will announce developments as they arise.

“I am very proud of the hard work that our Club has put in to create an exciting Ribfest at a new venue,” states Exchange Club President Ron Amato. “It’s unfortunate that we cannot move forward, especially for the local charities that our Club supports as part of its mission, but the health and safety of our attendees, volunteers, vendors, and Club members is paramount. We look forward to seeing everyone at Ribfest in 2021.”

Information regarding refunds will be made available shortly. Ticket holders will also be given the option of making a tax-deductible donation toward the Exchange Club of Naperville’s mission to prevent child abuse and domestic violence.

The Exchange Club of Naperville and the Village of Romeoville extend their heartfelt gratitude for the support and patience of its patrons as we continue to navigate these challenging times together, and encourage everyone to continue to support one another and our community’s charitable partners. The Exchange Club of Naperville continues to support its partners in ending child abuse in all forms, and its membership is open to anyone who would like to join the crusade to end child abuse.

Visit for Ribfest updates, donation opportunities, and membership information.

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