Lighting event kicks off with
Villagers by the hundreds walked to the banks of the Rogue River at Peppler Park for the annual ceremony as Rockford turned on the downtown’s holiday lights. A mild evening on Tuesday, Nov. 15 allowed the Rockford High School band and choir members to entertain the crowds with more comfort than on some previous lighting ceremonies.
A moving rendition of “Silver Bells” brought the holiday spirit home as well as beautiful traditional songs by the high school singers and musicians. A tradition with the lighting ceremony was a popular crowd favorite as “Fun with Rudolph” invited crowd participation.
Radio personality Gene Parker was crestfallen by a letter from Santa declining to attend the evening’s event but instead confirmed his visit on Saturday, Dec. 3 for the annual Santa Parade in downtown Rockford.
Current City Council member and former mayor Rich Moll spoke before the crowds of families, couples and kids, and recalled the excitement of his youth of the joys of the holidays and challenged all to “rekindle the joy of the season.”
State Representative Peter MacGregor shared his quest as he asked friends and family members their definition of peace. He received a different answer from his wife and each of his children before deciding on his own.
“Peace is different for each of us. For me inner peace is knowing my family is not in harm’s way,” MacGregor stated. “A lot of people don’t have that now. We need to think of peace all the time. We need to think of peace all year round. Hug your kids many times a day.”