After Friday rain, Ribfest braces for heat

June 29, 2012 (NAPERVILLE, Ill.)

Temperatures dipped into the 70s for a few hours, but they were climbing again during the afternoon. Saturday's weather may look a lot like Friday's combination of heat and rain, which could impact weekend activities, like Naperville's Ribfest, which is expected to draw thousands of people.

Naperville resident Carrie Simmons was happy to see the rain, even amid the spooky clouds that accompanied it.

"We need the rain! Absolutely, our grass hasn't grown, the kids are hot, it's a mess," said Simmons.

The rain was a welcome sight for crispy brown lawns amid predominantly dry conditions. For Ribfest food vendors like Mark Link of Uncle Bub's, however, wet conditions can be bad for business.

"Obviously, the rain scares away consumers," said Link. He was preparing his booth for Naperville's 25th annual Ribfest Friday. The Steve Miller Band is set to headline the festival.

As the rain left the area, the heat started building again - and not just on spicy ribs.

"I have 15 cases of Gatorade, 22 cases of bottled water, and I have big jugs of water for all the staff," said Link.

This is the first time Robinson's is appearing at Naperville's Ribfest. The booth was well-staffed and crews were ready for long days.

"We break them every 20 to 30 minutes; we give them a break," said Charlie Robinson of Robinson's.

The breaks should help with a long, hot weekend ahead.

"It's rough, but I have to make sure the staff drinks a lot of water keep from getting dehydrated, because if they do, I'll lose the whole staff if they don't drink a lot of water," said Robinson.

Proceeds from Ribfest go to fighting child abuse and domestic violence.

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