ROCKFORD — Rockford is lucky to have several events that come around every summer and remind us why it is great to be a Rockfordian.
Here are just some summertime staples in the 815. Get out the calendar so you don’t miss them.
Rockford Independence Day parade and fireworks
Monday, July 4
Rockford has celebrated Independence Day in style thanks to the efforts of the late Joe “Mr. Fourth of July” Marino. The parade through the streets of downtown starts at 5 pm The fireworks extravaganza begins at approximately 9:30 pm The Independence Day festivities typically draw tens of thousands of people to the city’s downtown.
For more: http://www.4thandlights.com/
Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days
Friday, July 22, from 11 am to 7 pm and Saturday, July 23 from 11 am to 6 pm at U-Haul, 5909 E. State St., Rockford & Blain’s Farm & Fleet, 7300 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park .
Brats, hot dogs, chips and pop are on the menu. Brat Days is Alpine Kiwanis Club’s annual signature fundraising event. All proceeds each year are given to 20 to 30 local non-profits serving children, the elderly, the disabled and for youth scholarships for post-secondary education.
For more: https://www.alpinekiwanis-il.com/
Aug. 5-7 at Boylan High School, 4000 St. Francis Drive, Rockford
For one very special weekend each year, everyone who passes through the gates at Festa Italiana is an “Honorary Italian.” This family-friendly event includes carnival rides and games for toddlers through adults, a kids crafts area, bocce, food and drink, and live music and dancing throughout the festival. Festa Italiana is sponsored by The Greater Rockford Italian American Association, a non-profit volunteer organization which promotes the Italian culture through social events, works of charity, and educational activities throughout the community.
For more: https://www.festaitalianarockford.com/
The annual celebration of Rockford’s Polish heritage takes place on Aug. 14 at St. Stanislaus Church parking lot, 201 Buckbee Street. Polish Fest features music and dancing all day and Polish food favorites, including Polish sausage sandwiches, sauerkraut, pierogi, potato pancakes and a stir fry. Pop, beer and wine, and ice cream are also available. Arts and crafts, bingo, Polish culture areas, raffle baskets, a cash raffle and a novelty booth selling a variety of Polish Fest items.
For more: https://www.gorockford.com/event/polish-fest/22349/
Boone County Fair
Aug. 9-14, Boone County Fairgrounds, 8791 Illinois 76, Belvidere
A regional favourite. The Boone County Fair is typically held each year the week before the Winnebago County Fair. If you can’t wait to get your hands on a funnel cake and lemon shake-up, the Boone County Fair is your answer. Come see the animals, the country music shows and more.
For more: https://www.boonecountyfair.com/
Winnebago County Fair
Aug 17-21, Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. First St., Pecatonica.
Enjoy the sights, sounds, animals, competitions, music, lights and great entertainment. Visit the website for a complete schedule of entertainment. The Winnebago County Fair has been a summer staple in the area for over a century and typically attracts tens of thousands of people.
For more: https://www.winnebagocountyfair.com/winnebago-county-fair/
Rockford Greek Fest
2022 dates have not yet been released, but this Rockford favorite is typically held in early September in downtown Rockford.
The festival is rich with traditional Greek music, dance, food and drink. The two-day festival is held in the parking lot and streets near Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 108 N. Fifth St. in Rockford.
Screw City Beer Festival
Sep. 10, 12 to 4 pm in parking lot of Riverview Ice House, 324 N. Madison St., Rockford.
Enjoy delicious beverages from 30 different breweries. Tickets went on sale June 18 and were sold out within hours. If you didn’t buy tickets in advance, you’ll want to keep an eye on social media for people trying to sell theirs before the festival.
The 12th annual festival pays tribute to Rockford’s manufacturing history and former billing as the Screw Capital of the USA.
For more: https://www.screwcitybeerfest.com/
Urban Farmgirl Main Street Market
Sep. 10 at Boone County Fairgrounds, 8791 Illinois 76, Belvidere.
Shop over 150 vendors from across the Midwest – handmade artisans and purveyors of vintage goods – while enjoying amazing food & local music.
For more: https://urbanfarmgirl.com/pages/main-street-market
Pec Thing Antique & Flea Market
Sept. 17-18, Winnebago County Fair Association, 500 W. First St., Pecatonica.
Pec Thing Antique & Flea Market has over 500 vendors, including: Antique tools, quilts, yard art, jewelry, stamps, postcards, furniture, glassware, crafts, sports memorabilia, holiday décor, electronics, photography, woodworking and candles.
Pec Thing has been a twice-a-year event at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds for more than four decades.
For more: https://www.winnebagocountyfair.com/pec-thing/
Ken DeCoster: email@example.com; @DeCosterKen