Security and Bag Policy

As part of the Security Guidelines for Ribfest, the list of items that are permitted inside has changed. Only bags that comply with standards of 16" x 16" x 8" will be admitted. Guests will be asked to return all restricted items back to their vehicle. Guests who are caught in the festival site with a restricted item(s) will have the object confiscated and may be subject to ejection.

Our security team reserves the right to search any and all bags before granting access into Ribfest. We appreciate your cooperation, please review the following guidelines before coming to Ribfest:

Permitted Items:

  • bags smaller than 16" x 16" x 8" (including soft sided coolers, backpacks and diaper bags, bags cannot have a rigid interior or exterior frame)
  • binoculars
  • blankets
  • cameras still and video ( tri-, uni-, or mono- pods are prohibited)
  • drink boxes, if you have children in your party or for medical needs
  • headphones
  • plastic baby bottles if you have a child in your party
  • lawn chairs
  • strollers
  • umbrellas (large golf umbrellas and umbrellas with metal tips are strongly discouraged)
  • tablets

Prohibited Items:

  • aerosol cans (hairspray, mace, pepper spray, etc.)
  • animals (except certified service animals or service animals in training)
  • bags larger than 16" x 16" x 8"
  • beach balls or other inflatable items
  • beverages (except juice boxes with children in your party, or for medical needs)
  • bottles (glass or plastic)
  • brooms
  • fireworks, firearms or other weapons
  • fishing nets or poles
  • framed backpacks
  • frisbees
  • hard sided coolers
  • knives (any size)
  • laser devices/pointers
  • liquid containers (glass or plastic)
  • markers, paint
  • noisemaking devices: air horns, bullhorns, thundersticks, cowbells, bells, horns, kazoos, whistles, and other noisemakers
  • objects that can be used as missiles or projectiles: sticks, bats, clubs, frisbees, beachballs
  • obscene or indecent clothing
  • selfie sticks
  • skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, hover boards, Segways, wheeled, motorized or powered scooters, bikes or similar devices
  • squirt guns including super soakers
  • sticks, including signs attached to sticks
  • toy guns or knives
  • unmanned aerial vehicles/drones


Questions about Ribfest?
I have some answers! Here are some helpful tips for an enjoyable festival!

Do I have to buy a separate ticket for the concert?

No, your admission to the festival includes all the entertainment. Admission at the gate on either day from 11AM-3PM is $5 and after 3PM is $15. Or you can buy passes in advance:

  • 2 Day Pass: $20
  • 1 Day Pass : $12
  • VIP per day: $50

I bought Ribfest tickets in advance. Where should I go?

You made the right call! Ticket holders looking to gain entry into the festival should head to the west entrance near Eleanor Street.

I didn't buy advance tickets and need to purchase them on-site. What about me?

Not a problem, either. In this instance you should head to the main entrance at the bridge on Water Street.

What about VIP tickets?

If you're looking to enjoy Ribfest in style, a VIP ticket is where it's at! VIP ticket holders should enter through the Eleanor Street entrance on the west side of the festival grounds.

How do you purchase the ribs/food from the vendors?

All food vendors accept cash and/or credit directly at their booth spaces. Tickets are not needed for purchasing food.

How do we get beverages?

Alcoholic beverages are available in designated areas throughout the festival grounds and must be paid for using drink tickets, which are available at convenient kiosks for the price of $1 per ticket. The amount of tickets per beverage depends on your drink choice. Check your program on the way into the festival for updated drink prices.

What about non-alcoholic drinks?

We have water and soda available for two tickets a piece.

Will there be other food available in addition to ribs?

Yes, vendors will also see a variety of barbecue items in addition to ribs, along with various side dishes. We'll also have desserts from Mangia Mangia and Not Just an Almond, Maui Wowie Smoothies, and carnival-style concessions from Ibison Concessions.

What items are gluten-free at the event?

All the rib vendor's sauces, if used, are made gluten-free. Some of the desserts available will also be gluten-free, including the smoothies. Always double-check with the vendor.

Do you take credit card? Or is it cash only?

Our admission gates and all our ticket booths accept both cash and credit card. We also have an ATM located on site.

Do you allow re-entry?

We allow re-entry prior to 3PM. You will receive a stamp as you leave the venue. No stamp = no re-entry. There is no re-entry if you leave the festival after 3PM.

What does the VIP ticket include?

Enjoy Ribfest in style! The VIP ticket includes access to a private bathroom, seating area and beer trailer.

Where is a good place to park?

There are several lots, parking ramps, and metered spots near the festival site.

Can we bring our own lawn chairs?

Yes, in fact, we recommend it! Lawn chairs and blankets are a great way to ensure you have your own comfortable seat.

Is there an age limit to attend?

Kids are welcome! We just ask that after 7 p.m., all kids under the age of 17 must be with an adult. Kids under 12 get into the festival for free.

Are pets allowed?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on the festival grounds for Ribfest. Only service animals with their required identification are allowed.

Can I bring my camera?

Yes! You are welcome to bring your own camera and take pictures of the event! We encourage you to share your photos to social media with the hashtag #KzooRibfest! Tweet us at @RibfestKzoo or Like Kalamazoo Ribfest on Facebook!

Please note, some artists have requested that attendees not use long lens equipment or video. Signs will be posted at the entrance and announcements will be made and we ask that you respect the artists wishes.