Chamber hosts annual Start of Summer Celebration

Playworld Amusements is providing this year’s midway and rides for the annual Start of Summer Celebration, June 7-10, downtown Rockford. The rides begin Thursday at 5 p.m. and Friday at noon.

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Start of Summer Committee are hoping that the community is ready to say goodbye to another school year. This year’s annual Start of Summer Celebration is celebrating its 44th year with another fun-filled event that features plenty of chills and thrills for the entire family. The City of Rockford has been preparing the streets, bridges and sidewalks for the big event, so it will be the perfect backdrop for this wonderful weekend.

This year’s celebration is scheduled for June 8, 9 and 10, with a special Community Night on Thursday, June 7 that will feature carnival rides for a lower rate for City of Rockford residents.

Start of Summer Celebration will feature carnival rides, food, crafts, music, entertainment and family fun. The fireworks, sponsored by Byrne Electrical Specialists, Meijer, Wynalda Packaging Inc., and D&W Fresh Markets, will light up the Rockford skyline at dusk on Saturday.

Polly Von Eschen, who has been involved with the event for 25 years and is chair of the event, always makes sure that the celebration runs seamlessly. The committee started preparing for the huge event months in advance and is ready to highlight the 44th annual installment of the popular celebration.

“It is a great way to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer,” said Von Eschen. “We like thanking the community for all their support of downtown businesses throughout the year. It is always a lot of fun. We love seeing people come into town and enjoy all of the wonderful things going on.”

Playworld Amusements will provide the carnival rides and games this year. The rides and midway will be set up in the South Squires Street parking lot. Favorites such as the Rotary Duck Race (including the new Big Daddy Duck Race), waterball, Chase Bank frog and turtle races, the Children’s Activities Tent, and tours of the Little Red Schoolhouse are on the schedule.

There will be a free shuttle service available, compliments of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. There is a pick-up and drop-off every half-hour from D&W Fresh Market, MVP Plaza and Rockford Center from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Be sure to come to downtown Rockford and enjoy this wonderful start to summer. To download a Start of Summer Celebration brochure, go to or see pages 12 and 13 of this week’s issue of The Rockford Squire for the complete schedule of events.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.