Prepare your taste buds for the much-anticipated event of the summer, the Hendricks County Rib-Fest & BBQ! Mark your calendar for June 24 as this is one of the biggest summer celebrations in Hendricks County, and you don’t want to miss it.

Rib-Fest is a must for locals and visitors alike who love good BBQ, hot-air balloons, children's activities and gathering together on a beautiful summer day. Whether you have attended this event each year since it debuted in 2005 or this will be your first ever visit to Rib-Fest, the event promises something for everyone to sink their teeth into, both literally and figurately.

The Hendricks County Rib-Fest & BBQ is a family-friendly event featuring great food and plenty of fun for all ages. The 18th Annual Rib-Fest and BBQ is set to run from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on June 24.

Here is everything you need to know about the annual Rib-Fest, including an exciting new feature for 2023:

Rise & Swine Rib RunHendricks County Rib-Fest Rib Run

Get your morning started off right by participating in the 9th annual 5K Rib Run/Walk. The Rib Run gets started at 9 a.m. Then at 10 a.m., the youngsters (ages 1-12) can get in on the action and show off their speed in the Riblet Run, which is a fun, 1/4-mile run.

The course is flat and perfect for runners and walkers of all fitness levels. There is also a virtual option for those who are not able to attend in person

Trust me, you will want a calorie deficit going into the day’s festivities! So corral your family and friends and sign up for the Rib Run.

Registered participants will get plenty of swag, including a race T-shirt and $5 worth of Rib-Fest food/drink tickets.    The 

Register for the Rib Run by clicking here. The cost is just $30 for the 5K (in person or virtual) or $15 for the Kid's run. Check the website for discounted family pricing when registering four or more family members.

Food VendorsPrincess enjoying ribs at the Hendricks County Rib-Fest; photo courtesy of the Hendricks County Rib-Fest Facebook Page

It's not a summer celebration without plenty of mouthwatering food, and at this event, the ribs are the star of the show.

Rib-Fest will officially open at 10 a.m., so you plan to enjoy both lunch and dinner at the festival, and maybe a few snacks in between.

There will be plenty of finger-licking-good options from a variety of BBQ vendors. Feast on creations from local and well-loved vendors such as Big Al's BBQ & Grill, Delia's Ribs & Catering, Phat Daddy's BBQ and many more.

Find out who will win the title of “Best Ribs” and “Best Sauce” as you sample your way through all the worthy entries!

A variety of vendors, including Cabin Coffee Company, Kona Ice, Hometown Mini Donuts and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt will sell sweet treats and an array of festival-style eats. Come hungry, and leave stuffed!

There will also be a designated alcohol area serving beer and wine for those 21 and over. Enjoy a cool, refreshing adult beverage along with melt-in-your-mouth that's summertime.

Craft FairHandmade Items to be Sold at the Plainfield Lions Club Craft Fair

The Plainfield Lions Club is excited to again be hosting a craft fair in conjunction with the 2023 Rib-Fest. The second annual craft fair will take place inside the Expo Hall at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and will run from 9 a.m.–7 p.m.

You can beat the heat as you head inside to the air-conditioned Expo Hall to browse handmade creations from local artisans. More than 65 talented vendors will showcase their handmade creations this year.

Shoppers can browse through jewelry, home decor, knitted items, woodworking, apparel, seasonal items, quilts, soaps, candles, yard art and much, much more. Find that one-of-a-kind item for yourself or pick up gifts for your pets, babies or anyone else on your shopping list.

Divot Golf Factory in Brownsburg, Indiana (photo courtesy of Divot Golf Factory Facebook page)

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Heritage ExpoBooth at the Hendricks International Festival; photo courtesy of the Hendricks County International Festival Facebook Page

Brand new at this year's Rib-Fest is the Heritage Expo. 

Plan to stop by the South Hall from 2-4 p.m. for an array of cultural activities. The family-friendly Heritage Expo will showcase ethnic food as well as fashions from various countries.

Sample cuisine from around the world and learn about the unique attire representing many different countries. There will be numerous display booths as well as a fashion show.

The Heritage Expo is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and learn from people who came here from other countries and now call Hendricks County home.

For the KidsHendricks County Rib-Fest

You will want to pile up the minivan and plan to bring your whole crew to Rib-Fest this year.

No need to get a babysitter for this event as there will be plenty of entertainment for the youngsters.

In addition to the Riblet Run and plenty of kid-approved food, your wee ones will want to visit the petting zoo and then wear themselves out jumping in the bounce houses and other inflatables.

And the kids' activities (besides the Riblet Run) are all free!

After DarkRib-Fest & Avon Balloon Glow

While your lips get to feast on tasty cuisine, Rib-Fest also provides a feast for the eyes.

Stick around as the sun sets as that is when the Balloon Glow takes center stage.

Colorful hot air balloons will light up the Hendricks County horizon with a spectacular display. Have your camera ready for this Instagram-worthy, photo-op that is sure to impress the whole family.

Then don't forget to bring your lawn chairs so you can find the perfect spot for Rib-Fest’s signature finale.

The Hendricks County sky will sparkle with a dazzling fireworks display that will be the perfect way to wrap up Rib-Fest 2023. 

What You Need To Know 

  • When: 10 a.m.–10 p.m., Saturday, June 24; Rib Run at 9 a.m.; Plainfield Lions Club Craft Fair 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Where: Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, ​1900 E. Main St., Danville
  • Cost: Free to get into Rib-Fest; however $5 for parking and bring cash or credit cards to purchase food, drinks and crafts.
  • Information: Follow Rib-Fest on Facebook or Instagram or log on to the Hendricks County Rib-Fest website.