Photos by TOM SCOTT It is easy to recapture the magic of Christmases past when there is a perfect setting for it. Downtown Rockford—with its signature Currier and Ives beauty, friendly atmosphere and twinkling lights and red ribbons—is ready for another holiday season. There are plenty of activities planned for a kinder, more personal way to celebrate this special time of year. “Rockford is definitely the perfect place for those looking for an old-fashioned holiday atmosphere,” said Jeannie Gregory, executive director of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. “The merchants do their part by fashioning beautiful window displays and decorating their shops, and the City puts up the holiday banners and spends hours wrapping the trees in strings of lights. It makes it easy to showcase such a beautiful setting with holiday events.” The season kicks off with the annual Lighting Ceremony, which will take place at Peppler Park on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. The Rockford High School brass ensemble and the Rockford choirs will be performing holiday music for those anxious to start the holiday season. Each year during the lighting ceremony, the city is covered in darkness and after a countdown from 10 the power is turned on to thousands of lights around the downtown area, including the Rockford Dam overlook. Michigan House Rep. Peter MacGregor will be giving a message of peace to honor the start of the special holiday season. The Heart of Rockford Business Association Open Houses will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 16-17, from 5 p.m. until 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the store. There are discounts, samples, goodies and giveaways, and each participating merchant has their own holiday specials planned. To add to the atmosphere, the sidewalks will be lined with luminaries. Also on Nov. 16, the Rockford Community Children’s Choir will be performing at 5 p.m. and the Rockford Community Chorus will follow at 6 p.m. Both will be at the Rockford Rotary Pavilion. The Gingerbread Contest is scheduled from December 2 through 18. There are different divisions, with the contest featuring gingerbread houses—and gingerbread people for the younger set. The entries will be showcased in the downtown stores, and will add another decorative dimension to the holiday tidings. The entries will be […]
Rockford Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony
It’s time to kick off the holiday shopping season downtown Rockford, and there is no better way than to turn on the holiday lights. Rockford’s fourth annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony will be held Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. in Peppler Park. Rockford High School’s brass ensemble, along with over 235 members of the Rockford High School choirs, will kick off the event with holiday music. Messages of peace will be presented by Rockford’s Mayor Chi Chi Rogers and Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Jazwiec. Gene Parker, of 100.5 The River, will lead friends and family in the traditional lighting countdown as Mike Bouwkamp and his family prepare to illuminate the town. This year we are very fortunate to have Aria Show Technology & Service provide the sound and lighting so everyone can hear the festivities above the roar of the water. So come and warm up your voices and join in great holiday fun. Then, after the lighting ceremony, stroll the streets, enjoy the holiday decorations, listen to the Dickens Carolers, and prepare to visit the businesses all dressed up in their holiday finest. The City of Rockford and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce wish you a magical holiday season.