In just seven years, Elkhorn Ribfest has not only become the largest BBQ festival in Wisconsin, but it has become one of the largest in the country.

The reasons for success?

A focus on good food, good music and good times — in that order. And the best part of all? Admission and parking for this five-day festival are free.

BBQ companies from around the nation will come to Elkhorn July 12-16, 2023, to compete for the Best Ribs, and win trophies and prizes. Broken into two divisions, the Pro Division will sell their barbecued food to the general public and the Community Division will be judged by Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) certified judges.

Not a fan of BBQ? There are numerous food choices that are not BBQ, much like a food truck festival.

Other notable activities happening throughout the festival include:

  • Live music all day, every day! Over 25 bands from a variety of genres will perform on two stages
  • Carnival rides
  • Artisan Village shop for gifts, homemade goods and unique items
  • Flat track motorcycle racing (Thursday, July 13)
  • Motorcycle show, free and open to the public with cash and prizes

Pro Tip #1: Bring a lawn chair. There are tables and chairs, but during busy times, they can become scarce.

Pro Tip #2: Bring your credit card and cash. New this year, beer and wine purchases will be available with a card only. Food and shopping vendors will take cash and cards at each business’ discretion.

Know Before You Go

Elkhorn Ribfest will take place at the Walworth County Fairgrounds July 12-16, 2023. Hours are 3-11 p.m., Wednesday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday. Parking and admission for this event are free. For more information, an event lineup and a list of vendors, visit

About Elkhorn Ribfest

Elkhorn Ribfest is a fundraiser to help maintain the agricultural education facilities at the Walworth County Fairgrounds. It also supports local organizations like Rotary, Lions Club, Knight of Columbus, Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce and more.

The event’s major sponsors are Frank and Stephanie Lueptow, Kunes Auto Group, Miller Beer and dozens of others

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