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Rain no match for start of 25th annual Ribfest

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For more on Ribfest, including a complete schedule of events, parking information, updates from the fest and more, visit us at You’ll also find reviews after all the big shows, including ZZ Top tonight, Thompson Square and Joe Nichols on Monday and Moe on Tuesday. Also, follow us on Twitter for constant updates to help you get the most out of Ribfest. For even more, check out our Facebook fan page for fantastic photos from the event.

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Updated: August 2, 2012 10:22AM

For a moment this afternoon, dark clouds loomed before Ribfest’s opening. But they weren’t enough to keep the gates from opening. At 4 p.m., the sun greeted guests as they passed through security to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Naperville’s biggest festival.

They were greeted by the smell of ribs wafting through the air, carnival rides whirring, and the sounds of Junkyard Groove at Knoch Park.

The park this year has rib vendors next to the family area with the carnival rides and game stations. There is plenty of space to walk around, including blocked off walking lanes to drink stations and food vendors. Everywhere you walk, there are eager employees from local businesses handing out free backpacks, fans and bags of chips.

According to Ribfest volunteers, the only hiccup so far is the wifi connection that’s down, which is necessary to count ticket sales but won’t affect purchases.

If you’re heading out to the park tonight, make sure to only bring water bottles with unopened lids, lawn chairs or blankets to watch the bands, and cash to purchase drinks, food and game tickets. Also, if you buy your ticket online before coning to the park, you are guaranteed a place at the festival.

Coming up tonight is the Steve Miller band performing on the Navistar stage. Before the band takes the stage, the Exchange Club of Naperville will donate a cake to the public during a plaque presentation to the city. The cake celebration will be a way to appreciate attendees and Naperville residents, and should feed 1,000 people, according to Anna Zimmerman, the 25th anniversary presentation planner.

The event closes at 10 tonight and will open at noon Saturday. While rain is in the forecast, Ribfest organizers have no intention of prematurely closing their gates.

The annual festival continues through July 3 at Knoch Park, 724 S. West St., Naperville.

Look for updates here all weekend long and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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