Ribfest May Be Moving To Romeoville In 2020

Ribfest was held in Naperville's Knoch Park for 31 of the fest's 32 years.

Bernie Tafoya
April 17, 2019 - 11:01 am

WBBM Newsradio/Bob Roberts

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After this year, Ribfest will be moving out of Naperville and likely to Romeoville. 

According to Ron Amato, president-elect of The Exchange Club, the organization that sponsors the charity fundraising event, a deal is not yet finalized, but plans are for Ribfest to be next to the Romeoville village hall starting next year.

Amato expects the deal to be finalized in the next few weeks.

He said the construction of a new girls' softball field in Knoch Park is forcing the move. Ribfest will be 32-years old this year and will have been held in Knoch Park for 31 of those years.

"It’s bittersweet. I’m a Naperville guy. I’ve lived in the area for a long time. I grew up going to Ribfest in Knoch Park. It’s not an easy decision," Amato said.

But, Amato said, "Romeoville checks a lot of the boxes as far as our needs," including offering a space of at least 35 acres.

He said Naperville officials had suggested moving Ribfest to Rotary Hill, where the first Ribfest was held and where The Last Fling continues to be held, but Amato said that space is not big enough. 

"Part of the issue we ran into is we really weren't interested in downsizing our fest," he said.

That's because Ribfest raises a lot of money for charity, generally between $500,000 and $1 million.

Amato said the Romeoville site is right next to the village hall on 135th Street near Romeo Road.