Downtown Rockford

Professional, juried art show to be held September 12

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Enjoy the sights Visit Stacy Niedzwiecki, Rockford photographer, at Art in the Park on Saturday, September 12 at Rockford’s Art tn the Park at Garden Club Park (behind Arnie’s) in downtown Rockford from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Multi-media artworks—sculpture, jewelry, weaving and no crafts—will be available for viewing or purchase.

Reading Festival promises fun Saturday

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford is a town of many talents and a town of many exciting summmer events. This Saturday, August 29, Rockford Rotary combines the two in the newest annual event: Reading Rocks in Rockford. Reading will be anything but a sedate, solitary pursuit this weekend with active and hands-on activities with a reading theme. Rockford Rotary has long partnered with Rockford Schools and schools in other countries to promote literacy, international goodwill and even fill hungry bellies. Each Tuesday children in a Dominican Republic School eat breakfast because Rockford Rotary pays for it. Now, right at home, experience literacy in a variety of venues. Have breakfast with authors in Krause Memorial Library Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. for just $4. At 9:45 a.m. dress up as your favorite storybook character and enjoy a side walk parade which starts at Rockford City Hall. Events take place throughout the day all over downtown. More than a dozen authors will visit town and will read and sign books. Signs around town will direct festival attendees to the different events. An outdoor lunch adventure will take place from 11:30 a.m. at Garden Club Park. Bring a lunch or purchase lunch downtown and enjoy Jeff Schatzer and his new book Professor Tuesday’s Awesome Adventure. All ages will enjoy this chance to celebrate the joy of reading, to meet Rockford athletes, school officials, authors and Rotarians as they read out loud. Activities begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m. Don’t miss this first-time new festival with a literary theme. 1. Jeff Schatzer – main stage 2. Carl Behrend – main stage 3. Sow Hope-One Hen – main stage 4. Nancy Edwards 5. Jean Alicia Elster ( wants to come to Author breakfast) 6. Renee Hand 7. Alan St. Jean 8. Karen Bell-Brege – possibly present as well 9. Kim Cory – 10. Roland Hansen 11. Kenn Vidro 12. Shirley Neitzel 13. Judith Wade 14. Janet Heller 15. Wendy Gager/and an author friend 16. MaryAnn Lesert Robin Schmidt to display books at Frenz Restaurant Information about authors: Judith Wade, Author Eagle, MI email: Judith’s website: Books: Mermaid Dreams (Riley Press, 2005) The Mermaid’s Gift (Riley Press, 2004) The Secret of Mermaid Island (Riley Press, 2003) Kim Delmar Cory, Author Holt, MI email: […]

Open mic brings more music to downtown

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Newly-renovated Garden Club Park has seen more music and free entertainment this summer with Open Mic Wednesdays. Individuals have been invited to show off their talent in song on the stage, located on the banks of the Rogue River on Wednesdays. “This is another way to make use of the stage and setting,” said City Manager Michael Young. Young joined in the show Wednesday, August 19, signing up with friend Jerry Douthett and singer Amanda Jones to offer their version of the Stones’ You Don’t Always Get What You Want and Janis Joplins’ Me and Bobby McGee. Douthett played guitar, Jones amazed crowds with her vocal talents and Young contributed in song and playing the egg. Jones said she has been singing since she was in Rockford High School choir. “We’ve been playing at all the major venues,” Young told the crowd. “We’ve played at Sparta, at Harvard and in Smyrna.” See videos from the evening (NOTE – Files are 8 meg +, please be patient waiting for the downloads): Big Daddy and the Eggman 1 Big Daddy and the Eggman 2 Big Daddy and the Eggman 3

Festival kicks off Youth Initiative fundraising, draws 1,200

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

The first Heirloom tomato festival drew crowds and helped pack downtown Rockford on Saturday, August 22. In the parking lot of the Promenade, the festival included a salsa contest that tried the taste buds of judges, who had to sample a whopping 34 salsas. Some caused sweat to break out on judges’ faces, but no one dropped out before the tasting was done. “We expected maybe eight entries,” said organizer Meredith Gremel. She said of the judges “I kind of feel sorry for them.” The event featured tomatoes, games and music, and was a kick-off to fundraising by the Rockford High School Youth Initiative, who provided the volunteers for the children’s activities at the festival. Initiative president Shelby Denhof said this year’s project for the community group is to build a Habitat for Humanity home. The undertaking will require raising an amazing $75,000. Denhof said the group hopes to rehab or build from scratch a house right here in Rockford. Prior to the festival, the organization had already raised $850 by holding pop can drives. “We hope to have half raised by January, begin building by February or March and be done by June, “ Denhof stated.   Youth Initiative volunteers helped youngsters with a bag toss, painted faces and helped kids decorate their own heirloom tomatoes to take home. Under a tent Reds offered samples of tomato-based salad, salsa and soup for $2 each. Ingraberg Farm highlighted many varieties of heirloom tomatoes and Earthkeeper Farms was also present with tomatoes. The event was well-attended and organizers were pleased with the turnout. Downtown merchants joined in the fun by offering discounts and deals for those who showed up with tomato-related items. It is planned for the festival to be a yearly event.  

Festival to have mouths watering

August 20, 2009 // 0 Comments

You might as well change Rockford’s name to Festival Town. With a new event taking place this weekend, Rockford has dozens of summertime events to enjoy. On Saturday, August 22, 2009, Reds on the River in Rockford will be sponsoring the First Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival on the banks of the Rogue River as a way to introduce and expand upon the incredible attributes of heirloom tomatoes … and to have a bit of fun in the process. An heirloom tomato is one grown from an heirloom plant, an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) cultivar of tomato. Heirloom tomato cultivars can be found in a wide variety of colors, shapes, flavors and sizes, with all kinds of funny names like Big Rainbow, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim and Green Zebra. They may be lumpy and bumpy, but one thing is for sure – they are packed with flavor. One of the reasons heirloom tomatoes are so popular is they are grown from “old seeds” – in other words, they have not cross bred to produce today’s version of the perfect tomato: bright red, no blemishes, and mass produced. In the process of creating the latter, much of tomato flavor has been bred out of them. Festival activities to include: • Free tomato taste testing of a variety of Heirlooms, compliments of Ingraberg Farms • Judging Best of Show by area media personalities and local Rockford leaders (12 noon) • Salsa contest – attendees are welcome to submit their favorite salsa; winners will receive gift cards to Reds on the River. Salsa judging contest at 1 p.m.—contestants should bring dish to serve eight judges to Reds’ kitchen at 10 am on 8-22. Salsa must be kept properly packaged and labeled with name/phone/email and recipe • Live music • New Holland Brewing beer tent on Reds patio • Food sampling of Reds best heirloom tomato recipes • Children’s activities • Seeds and tomatoes for sale • First annual festival tee shirts for sale Large tents will be set up in the Promenade of Rockford parking lot adjacent to Reds, so rain or shine, the fun festivities will go on. Mark your calendar and plan to spend the day in Rockford. Heart of Rockford Business Association members plan to get in on […]

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