We just got back from the 2008 installment of Ribfest and to those still considering a trip to Naperville for the annual barbeque and music extravaganza, here’s a quick photo essay to give you feel for this epic summer festival.
In the coming days, I’ll be writing more about my assessment of this year’s offerings as well as my personal favorites. Ribfest runs through this Sunday, July 6th.
To the right is a collage of a few of the ribbers from all over the country who are waging their 2008 campaign for Ribfest Champion.
The ribbers from Pigfoot Barbeque engage in their labor of love over the hot wood and charcoal grills to bring to life their own unique combination of flavors.
Though the national musical acts take the stage at night, there is life music on the main stage and second stage throughout the day from local and regional acts. The size and setup of the Ribfest main stage gives you an idea of the number of attendees who make their way through the gates at Ribfest.
To the ribbers, making money is not the only business at hand. The true passion of these smoke-filled souls to win the trophies in being selected as best ribs and best sauce. Teams at Ribfest come from as far away as Australia.
Ribfest is full of repeat Ribfest ribbers which enables you to zero in on your favorites year after year. It’s like a giant restaurant that opens for only four days each year. As for my own taste, I’ve identified my consistent favorite and will be writing more about them in the coming days.
At the end of the day, this is the biggest reason Ribfest is such a big hit. We have created an annual family tradition which lives year after year. Though the boys are more interested in corn dogs and chicken fingers right now, we are slowly cultivating their taste for the main event. It seems like yesterday we were pushing them around Ribfest in strollers. These days are fleeting and we must cherish each and every day taking nothing for granted in this lifetime. Perhaps the true mission of Ribfest is to bring families and friends together for a little sensory overload and enjoyment. May the tradition live for many years to come. SM