22nd annual Ribfest comes to Kalamazoo

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Ribfest Kalamazoo.

Ribfest Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 1-3

KALAMAZOO—Country band Lonestar will be the featured entertainment for Ribfest Kalamazoo, which runs Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 1-3.

Now in its 22nd year, Ribfest also features a cook-off, eating contest, children's events and an arts and crafts sale. It is a fundraising event for Kalamazoo nonprofit Community Advocates for people with developmental disabilities.

Gates open at 11 a.m. each day at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place. Admission is free Thursday before 4 p.m. and $5 after 4 p.m. Admission Friday and Saturday is free before 4 p.m., $5 from 4 to 7 p.m., and $10 after 7 p.m. Guests must be 18 years or older or with an adult to enter after 7 p.m.
 Children 12 and younger are admitted free.


Thursday, Aug. 1

Friday, Aug. 2

Saturday, Aug. 3


Thursday, Aug. 1

  • Best Ribs in Kalamazoo Contest—Restaurants and catering companies in Kalamazoo County promote their ribs in a blind taste test competition for judges, 8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 2

  • Sponsor's Choice—A panel of judges sample, in a blind test, the award-winning ribs of eight participating rib vendors, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 3

  • Kalamazoo Cook-Off—Teams or individuals compete for best ribs. Cost is $50 for amateurs and $75 for professionals with cash prizes. Judges are from the Southwest Michigan Culinary Association Federation chefs along with local food editors, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Children's Events—Hands-on arts and crafts, snow cones, Dino Bounce, face painting, Jingles the Clown and games, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free.
  • Pop-Up Vendor Row—In an event specifically designed for catering companies, food vendors will sell their food from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The purpose is to promote ribs available in Kalamazoo County and southwest Michigan.


  • The Marketplace Tent—fine art, crafts and cottage industries for sale.
  • People's Choice Award voting—awarded Saturday evening, the winner is chosen from results of forms submitted at the voting booth.

For more information, visit ribfestkalamazoo.com or call (269) 388-2830.