The air in North Center was thick with smoke and hypnotizing meaty aromas, as tens of thousands packed onto a few blocks of Lincoln Avenue for Ribfest Chicago.
It got so congested at times that no one could move near the intersection of Lincoln, Damen and Irving Park, but most didn't mind, as they already had ribs in their mouths and barbecue sauce all over their fingers.
Fest-goers lined up for St. Louis ribs from The Smoke Daddy, pork shoulder sandwiches from Browntrout and chocolate and vanilla ice cream from Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro -- with a good dash of Guinness mixed in with the butterfat. Perhaps the biggest lines of the festival were at the Chicago BBQ Company, which enticed diners with thick, succulently seasoned ribs by the full and half-slab.
Woo Ri Village sold Korean short ribs, Pitchfork had fall-off-the-bone pork and Uncle Bub's BBQ unloaded beef brisket onto Ribfest-goers. On the streets, even babies and black labradors got in on the tastiness from 16 different rib vendors.
Accompanying their chowing down were bands like Philly-based trio Jukebox the Ghost, as well as local acts the Waco Brothers and Common Shiner. At the Kids Square, karate demos and a Hawaiian luau entertained the youngest rib eaters.
Have a look at photos from RibFest, courtesy of Erin Chan Ding: