LAKE IN THE HILLS - A little bit of rock, a little bit of roll, a little bit of … ribs?
The Lake in the Hills Rotary Club, a volunteer organization of business and community leaders who provide humanitarian service and build goodwill, will host its 9th annual Rockin’ Ribfest from Thursday, July 10 through Sunday, July 13, at Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road, in Lake in the Hills.
The four-day, family-friendly event promises to be full of fun and entertainment, especially with the “Lip Smackin’ BBQ Smack Down Community Cook-Off” that will take place Sunday, said Bob Huckins, chair of the event.
“The Cook-Off was created especially for our amateur local rib masters,” Huckins said. “It’s a way for our community members to showcase their grilling prowess and perhaps take home the $150 grand prize - and, of course, bragging rights. STAR 105.5 radio morning host, Joe Cicero will be our celebrity judge again this year.”
The main theme of the Rotary Rockin’ Ribfest - barbecue ribs and rock music - will be hard to miss. Throughout Rockin’ Ribfest, eight extraordinary barbecue vendors will offer up their prized meats and sauces, including Uncle Bub’s of Westmont; Cherry Red Roasters BBQ of Dwight; Mojo’s BBQ, Pigfoot BBQ, Armadillo’s and Smokin’ Joe’s Hog Wild Barbeque, all of Ohio; Texas Outlaws of Kentucky; and Howling Coyote Southwest BBQ.
“This is some of the best BBQ in the country,” explained Huckins. “Each year the crowd gets bigger, last year over 22,000 people enjoyed the ribs and music.”
And once the music starts, it won’t stop.
Jaime Campbell & The Redneck Romeos and DownPour: The AC/DC Concert will heat up the stage Thursday afternoon and evening, and Kashmir: The Led Zeppelin Show and American Idol winner Lee DeWyze will perform Friday
Saturday will feature all-day musical entertainment, starting at 1 p.m. with Sugar High and concluding with headliner Fuel at 9 p.m. The bands Generation and The Lounge Puppets, a tribute to 1980s hair bands, will fill the afternoon time slots. Sunday afternoon will see Eliminator, a ZZ Top cover band, perform.
Rock ‘n’ roll favorite 7th Heaven will close down Rockin’ Ribfest with a finale performance from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Other weekend attractions will include a car show on Saturday; an autograph session with former Chicago Bear Steve “Mongo” McMichael on Sunday; and plenty of kids’ activities throughout the festival.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and close at 11 p.m.; gates will re-open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Saturday; and the festival will conclude with Sunday’s activities from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tickets are $5 a person; children 12 and younger enter free of charge with an accompanied adult. Active military with a military ID also enter free.
Festival sponsors include: McHenry County Community Foundation, Northwest Herald, 24-Hour Comfort, Moretti’s, STAR 105.5 FM and Miller Lite.
Rockin’ Ribfest is the signature fundraising event for the LITH Rotary Club. All proceeds from the event will benefit rotary club charities, locally and globally. More than $500,000 has been raised by the LITH Rotary Rockin’ Ribfest since 2005.