An outlier showed up today.
Amidst the reopening and the reinstatement of community festivals throughout the Fox Valley, The Exchange Club of Naperville, the latest purveyors of Naperville’s venerable Ribfest, sounded a discordant note.
The 2021 Ribfest, slated to be held from July 1 to July 4, has been cancelled.
In a joint statement published on the Exchange Club website, Bob Black, the 2021 Ribfest Chairman, and Jerry Kochurka, Exchange Club of Naperville President, explained further:
“As a not-for-profit organization, the Exchange Club of Naperville donates proceeds from our annual Ribfest event to multiple agencies in the fight against child abuse and domestic violence. We are, of course, greatly disappointed that circumstances have left us unable to responsibly and in good conscience hold Ribfest this year, or put our funding or any future Ribfest at risk.”
The statement explained that “the organizers of the 33rd annual Ribfest have spent the past few months in constant careful situation analysis, in order to accurately and comprehensively assess all factors in regard to its plans for Ribfest, July 1-4, 2021.
“In consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 conditions and recently mandated capacity restrictions, the Club has concluded that it cannot reasonably guarantee health, safety, and success for such a large-scale public event that occurs in the early portion of the summer festival schedule and is thus susceptible to the instability of COVID-related conditions like capacity restrictions.”
The statement indicated that further information will be forthcoming.