Naperville Ribest runs through Sunday

For nearly 30 years, the Exchange Club of Naperville has been hosting one of the biggest summer parties in Chicagoland. This year's event again included tons of family fun, great musical artists, lots of tasty food and an International and Craft Beer Festival was introduced this year.

I attended the first day with my family and we enjoyed making our way through the fest grounds. We've attended several times in the past, but didn't make it there the last two years and I had definitely missed it.

There are always a few brands there giving samples, offering games and handing out prizes. Red Baron's area included bean bags and a giant Connect Four-type game with round wood pieces painted to resemble pizzas. It was super cool. I played a couple rounds myself. The were also offering samples and inviting fans to post their #sliceselfies

Weber Grills had a nice trailer that was something of a grill showroom. Outside, a little white picket fence cordoned off a little "back yard" area. The fun included a giant Jenga game, bean bags and various grilling demos.

While the focus is definitely on ribs and barbecued meats at the fest, there are also several other food vendors there, as well. The folks at Gibson's were there serving up some good stuff, including filet sliders.

When I finally made it over to the rib area, the first thing we got was a big combo platter from Johnson's that included ribs, smoked sausage and pulled pork with potato salad and ribs. The sauce was amazing. I prefer sweet or mildly zesty sauces and this sauce was some of the best I've ever had. They were there all the way from Virginia.

Of course there was also tons of fried stuff to choose from, too. I didn't have room to try any, but had to stop a guy before he took a bite when I saw these sitting on a table. :)

With admission to the fest were attractions in the Family Area, that included inflatables, jousting, laser tag, euro bungee, a kids stage with magic shows and a petting zoo. Kids 11 and under are free to the fest, so it's a great deal. Pay admission for the grow-ups and there's a lot of free fun for the kids.

We enjoy going on a weekday before the place gets crowded, but it's always fun being there for the 4th of July and for the big weekend bands. The fest continues on July 4 and 5 from noon to 10 p.m. Get all the details at Here's a glance at some of the other highlights from our day there.