Funnel Cakes! Corn on the Cob! Fresh Squeezed Lemonade! Live Music, Dancing, Arcade games, and picnics...
For a true AMERICAN experience, nothing says "America" like a summer festival! Music, food, and the outdoors. Rib Fest in Naperville, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago that can be reached by the Metra train for downtown Chicago) is held every summer around the 4th of July. Every July 4th, Americans around the country celebrate independence and freedom with BBQ and Fireworks. Rib Fest invites the best and most delicious vendors that they can find to bring the Chicagoans a diverse arrangement of BBQ.
Last 4th of July I celebrated the holiday with my boyfriend here. It was both of our first times attending the fest, and we wanted our fill of BBQ. We were determined to find our favorite ribs! Now be warned...there is an entrance fee and a cost of the food. It does get a little pricey, but the food is well worth it!
With a mega freshly squeezed lemonade in one hand sweating down my wrist and balancing an assortment of ribs on a flimsy paper plate in the other, I quickly find a patch of grass to nest in for awhile while I devoured my meal. We found our favorites, and after went over to the picnic tables by the band to listen and dance before the fireworks started. There is so much to taste, see, and do. And if you are new to Chicago, this is a great experience to see the famed Midwest!
Naperville is full of history, including the marvelous Anderson Bookstore. It is located within a block of the public library. Here, history meets modern books. It is a wonderful stop along the streets of downtown that will ignite the flames of a passionate reader. It might even encourage reluctant readers! The staff is very knowledgeable, and authors frequent the store for book signings and readings. They also sell toys and games.
The shelves are lined with books after books both old and new. When you enter the bookstore, you will see tags hanging off of several shelves. These give a bit of information about the book, and also include staff recommendations. I enjoy browsing the shelves and reading the tags to find a book or sometimes more to add to my reading list. You can also check their website or the chalkboard to see what authors are scheduled to come and do readings or book signings.