This year’s Reading Rocks in Rockford is sure to be a hit for everyone in the family. The reading festival is celebrating its fifth year and has matured into a blockbuster event that highlights what building blocks reading provides toward every child’s future. The family-fun event is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, and is sponsored by the Rockford Rotary Club, Rockford Public Schools, and Kent District Library (KDL).
On hand Saturday to greet all the kids are special guests, Pete the Cat and the famous Llama Llama, of the Penguin book series. The Berenstain Bears will also be joining these famous storybook characters to thrill the little ones.
The reading festival takes place at a variety of venues throughout downtown Rockford. It includes an Author’s Showcase, Rockin’ Reader Awards, a Storybook Parade, children’s activities, and Paws with a Cause. It also features special guests, Gijsbert (Nick) and Robbyn van Frankenhuyzen, gifted illustrator and author, respectively, who will be sharing their talents with the crowds.
The award-winning festival starts with a crowd favorite, the Storybook Parade, at 10 a.m. in front of Krause Memorial Library. Parents and children are invited to don a costume of their favorite storybook character, or carry their favorite book and join in the fun. The parade will wind down East Bridge Street to Garden Club Park, where Author’s Row features published authors autographing their books and answering questions.
New this year is a rendition of the famous poem, “Casey at the Bat” numerous times throughout the day. Enjoy this wonderful addition down by the Rockford Dam parking lot. Also on tap is a trip back to a Mark Twain book “Tom Sawyer.” Have your kids enjoy fence painting down by the dam, and learn about this American classic.
The Garden Club Park Stage will be a hub of entertainment all day, beginning at 10 a.m. with the Rockford High School Drum Line. Singer and songwriter Jeff Schroeder takes the stage at 10:20 and is followed by author/entertainer Kevin Kammeraad. Also scheduled for the stage are other authors and illustrators, including Paleo Joe author.
You are invited to go to the Rockford Rotary Pavilion and “Rock” out with KDL. Enjoy activities such as “Bring the Bling,” “Punk Rock Pets,” “Dig It?” and a “Rock Out Petting Zoo.” There will be prize drawings every half hour!
Reading Rocks has even garnered national recognition in 2012 earning a $2500 award from the Pearson Foundation, and 1,000 books from We Give Books for this wonderful event that promotes literacy. Representatives of Reading Rocks in Rockford and the Rockford Rotary received the award in Washington DC at the Library of Congress on National Literacy Day.
Reading Fest is a wonderful event meant to help celebrate the value of reading. You are invited to take part in an award-winning festival that spreads a love of books, knowledge and adventure.