The 24th annual Grand Rogue Military Encampment has been cancelled in the past due to extreme flooding, but this year’s event was a little soggy due to rain showers. A historic bonanza of knowledge and authentic clothes and equipment showed visitors what life was like before electricity, both in military reenactment and family settings. The event takes place each year at Grand Rogue Campground on West River Drive, and many repeat participants show what life was like from the time of the French and Indian War in the 1700s on up through the centuries. To find out more, visit grandrogueencampment.com.
On a beautiful afternoon on Friday, August 6, Logan Lovall, 8, and sister Ava, 4, found their first-ever geocache at the Rockford Squire newspaper. Free since 1871 is the name of the cache and refers to the age of the business and that we are a free publication. The geocache is free, too. Ava is putting in a coin and taking out a pretty ring. Our cache is small, the size of a film canister, but others are as large as ammunition cans. Sometimes caches are something to see and don’t actually include a container at all. These educational/environmental caches are called Earthcaches.
Second annual Heirloom Tomato Festival will have plenty to eat, see, do “This is going to be one absolute blast of a festival,” said organizer Meredith Gremel of this Saturday’s second annual Heirloom Tomato Festival held at Reds on the River from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Businesses throughout downtown are coordinating special pricing and giveaways to go with the ‘Show us your Tomatoes’ theme. The Heirloom Tomato festival will feature music, events and food under at tent in Red’s parking lot, a marinara contest open to the public, a Little Miss Heirloom pageant for girls under 12 and a wide variety of tomato/harvest-themed fun. “There aren’t a lot of towns like Rockford anymore,” said Gremel. She referred to the wide variety of shops, the lovely flowers at Peppler Park where hundreds go during the summer for photos, and all the music and festivals that take place here. The tomato festival idea came from the abundance of the crop. She said Dave Ingraberg farms and Chef Glenn at Reds were commenting on how wonderful yet abundant the tomato is when grown the way nature intended. She said the two decided to have a festival centered on the tomato. This year there will be heirloom tomato seeds for sale, MSU extension Master Gardeners offering advise, a Red’s sampler offered with ticket purchases, roasted corn, a beer tent and other traditional, harvest time family event. North Kent Service Center will offer a lemonade stand with proceeds to the facility and any left over tomatoes will be donated. The Festival Line Up includes … 11 a.m. ‐ noon: Dublin Station (www.dublinstation.com/) Noon: Crowing Little Miss Heirloom Tomato Princess (girls 12 Under ‐ dress in tomato, heirloom, or harvest attire and win a gift certificate to Aunt Candy’s Toy Company!) 12:30 ‐ 2:30 p.m. ‐‐ The Bean Poles (www.myspace.com/bobobluescat) 1 p.m.: Marinara Sauce Contest Judging begins (contestants must drop off their sauce in sealed containers clearly labeled with name, address, phone, email, and recipe at 10 am to Reds kitchen. Prepare enough to serve 10 judges). Top three winners awarded Reds gift certificates. Heirloom Essay Contest winner announced — see www.reds‐live.com for details. 3 ‐ 4 p.m.: The Moonrays 10 a.m.—4 pm: Kids games and activities, Old Fashioned Lemonade Stand, Beer Tent, […]
Colleen LaBeau and her little friends packed Krause Memorial Library on Monday, June 28 as over 200 fascinated youngsters showed up for visiting animals from John Ball Zoo. Children were able to learn about the animals—ears, not legs make the difference between snakes and skinks—and were even allowed to pet a blue-tongued skink after the presentation. In addition to a blue-tongued skink, children saw a hooded Merganser duck and a long-tailed chinchilla, and were able to touch animal exhibits of a wolverine pelt and paw, an ostrich egg, shark jaws, a turtle shell and others. LeBeau is the outreach program facilitator. She said she has many programs coming up at other libraries. If you missed this event, check Kent District Library’s website at www.kdl.org to see where else zoo animals will be visiting.
Looking for some good old-fashioned fun this Fourth of July? Then head into downtown Rockford for the second annual Fourth of July Kid’s Bike Parade, starting at 2 p.m. from the South Squires Towers parking lot (east of the White Pine Trail). Parade participants should gather at 1:30 p.m. to line up. The parade will wind through Squires Street Square with the supervision of the Rockford City Police. Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes in red, white and blue. Parents are most welcome to walk along and cheer on the participants. Each child will be given a special gift for participating, and there will a prize for the best dressed bicycle. Sweet Tooth will have a Bubble Gum Contest after the parade in front of their store. Parade organizers also will have a drop box for retired U.S. flags. The Heart of Rockford Business Association is the parade sponsor.