Rockford welcomes the holidays with annual lighting ceremony

The calendar is quickly counting down the days to the holidays, and Rockford is ready! Be sure to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities to spend time with your family and enjoy the City’s beautiful Currier and Ives backdrop while welcoming in the holidays.

The annual Lighting Ceremony is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 13 and is a community favorite. This is the 7th year this beautiful event has taken place down by the Rockford Dam. Peppler Park will be the stage for the talented Rockford High School brass ensemble and the Rockford High School choirs to perform plenty of holiday favorites, with the brass ensemble scheduled to play at 5:30 p.m. and the choirs singing at 6 p.m. Mayor Steve Jazwiec will deliver a Message of Peace and WLHT radio personality Gene Parker will emcee the event. Downtown will be blanketed in darkness until the countdown and then it will be illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights, compliments of the City of Rockford.

“The lighting ceremony is a wonderful way to start off the holidays,” Rockford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeannie Gregory said. “It truly is a breathtaking moment when all is in darkness and the City turns on the electricity and all the lights illuminate the downtown landscape. Everyone knows how musically talented the high school music departments are. Directors Brian Phillips and Dave Duiven always have an excellent program planned that is not only nice to hear, but also entertaining for the families.”

The annual downtown Open Houses will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 15 from 5-9 p.m. The downtown merchants have decorated their storefronts, constructed beautiful window displays and will be placing luminaries on the sidewalks to add to the holiday beauty. Some stores have special sales, refreshments, and even free giveaways. The merchants are inviting you to take a step back in time and enjoy a relaxed, warm atmosphere as you do your holiday shopping.

To see the entire list of downtown holiday activities go to

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