Food, entertainment highlights of Kalamazoo Ribfest

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News
Photo of a crowd of people at Ribfest.

Admission is free before 4 p.m. each day of the festival.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo's annual Ribfest is a three-day event at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place in Downtown Kalamazoo. One of the original festivals held downtown, Ribfest is now in its 30th year and attracts more than 10,000 people each summer. This year's festival is set for Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 4-6.

Proceeds from the Kalamazoo Ribfest go to benefit the Arc Community Advocates, which works with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to empower them to live a life that is fully included in the community, and advocate on their behalf.

About Ribfest

The event features national and local rib vendors that sell ribs and chicken in outstanding barbecue sauces. To complement the rib vendors, additional food vendors will be offering side items and sweet treats to top off the food experience at Ribfest.

The event will also bring in national rock and country musical artists, local bands, plenty of fun activities including children’s crafts and games, a People's Choice Rib Competition and a contest for Best Ribs in Kalamazoo.

Gates open at 11 a.m. daily at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place and close at 11:30 p.m. Thursday and 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Entry is free every day before 4 p.m. and $10 after 4 p.m. Children 12 and younger with an adult are free. Admission for Best Ribs in Kalamazoo Tent is $25 Thursday night only. VIP tickets are $30 for Thursday and $40 for Friday and Saturday and include access to a no-waiting entry gate, a VIP tent with premier seating close to the stage, a VIP beer line and private portable bathrooms.

Entertainment this year includes bands ranging from local artists to nationally touring legends. 

Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 4

  • 4 to 4:45 p.m., Road to Ribfest winner (determined Aug. 1).
  • 5 to 6:30 p.m., Megan Rae Band.
  • 7 to 8:30 p.m., Dylan Jakobsen.
  • 9 to 10:30 p.m., Brian Lorente.
  • 10:30 to 11 p.m., DJ.

Friday, Aug. 5

  • 4 to 5 p.m., Rock Your Vote winner (determined Aug. 1).
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Bonehawk.
  • 7 to 8:30 p.m., Veilside.
  • 9 to 10:30 p.m., Vince Neil of Motley Crue.
  • 10:30 to 11:30 p.m., DJ.

Saturday, Aug. 6

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kalamazoo Academy of Rock (multiple bands).
  • 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Arts Fishing Club.
  • 4 to 5 p.m., Yolonda Lavender.
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., PopCult.
  • 7 to 8:30 p.m., Starfarm.
  • 9 to 10:30 p.m., En Vogue.
  • 10:30 p.m. to midnight, DJ.

For more information, visit kalamazooribfest.com.