After being optimistic a few months ago and planning for a “downsized” fest in Romeoville this July 1-4, the organizers of Ribfest have decided to cancel the event amid uncertainty of COVID-related restrictions from the State of Illinois.
Here’s the entire statement as released yesterday on the Ribfest website.
Naperville, IL (May 18, 2021) – The Exchange Club of Naperville, organizers of the 33rd annual
Ribfest, have spent the past few months in constant careful situation analysis, in order to accurately and
comprehensively assess all factors in regard to its plans for Ribfest, July 1-4, 2021.
In consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 conditions and recently mandated capacity restrictions, the
Club has concluded that it cannot reasonably guarantee health, safety, and success for such a large-scale
public event that occurs in the early portion of the summer festival schedule and is thus susceptible to
the instability of COVID-related conditions like capacity restrictions. Therefore, the Exchange Club of
Naperville, along with the Village of Romeoville, regretfully announces that Ribfest will be unable to
occur over Independence Day weekend 2021.
This extremely difficult decision comes after much deliberation about any possibility of presenting the
family fun, philanthropy, dining, and music throughout Independence Day Weekend 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 for Ribfest in Deer Crossing Park, and begin optimistic planning for 2022.
In a joint statement, Bob Black, the 2021 Ribfest Chairman, and Jerry Kochurka, Exchange Club of
Naperville President, explained further: “As a not-for-profit organization, the Exchange Club of
Naperville donates proceeds from our annual Ribfest event to multiple agencies in the fight against child abuse and domestic violence. We are, of course, greatly disappointed that circumstances have left us unable to responsibly and in good conscience hold Ribfest this year, or put our funding or any future Ribfest at risk.”
The Exchange Club of Naperville will announce developments as they arise.
In lieu of ticket-package purchases, supporters will 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 extends its heartfelt gratitude for the support and patience of all
Ribfest 2021 early sponsors including Grand Sponsors ABC7 Chicago, Budweiser, Citgo, Hollywood
Casino Aurora, Jewel-Osco, and Meijer, as well as all of its patrons, as we continue to navigate these
challenging times together. Everyone is encouraged to continue to support one another and community
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 www.ribfest.net for Ribfest updates, donation opportunities, and membership information.
If you would like to make a donation in support of the Exchange Club and their mission to help local kids, you can do that here.