Ribfest canceled again due to coronavirus pandemic

Ribfest has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to festival officials.

Organizers of the 33rd Annual Ribfest said this decision came down to finances. 

"With local capacity restrictions still in effect, despite Illinois being the Bridge Phase, Ribfest says the chance of not even breaking even was a very real possibility in what is traditionally a big fundraiser for charity," said event chairman Bob Black.

The cancellation left some residents disappointed, especially with other major festivals, like Lollapalooza, getting the green light.

"It's disappointing, for sure." said Sylvia Williams of Romeoville.

"For me, I think it's a disservice to the community not having it," added Darryl Tucker of Chicago


The event was supposed to happen at Romeoville's Deer Crossing Park. 

"We are still under local restrictions which will inhibit what our attendance can be," Black said.

The event traditionally raises money for 50+ agencies fighting both domestic violence and child abuse, but with capacity limitations a big question mark, the concern was too high that the event might not even break even. 

Black said the decision to cancel did not come easily. 

"We really wrestled with this because we really wanted to hold this and really wanted to get these funds, we also know that, unlike Lolla, we're not-for-profit," he said. "We don't have a big backing."

Ribfest was supposed to happen on 4th of July weekend, but after what it called a "situation analysis," the Exchange Club of Naperville concluded it couldn't guarantee "health, safety and success."

Organizers say they're now in the planning stages for 2022.

For more information, visit the Naperville Ribfest website.