Photos by BETH ALTENA Rock the Dam could have been called Rock the Dogs as the event had plenty of canine listeners and visitors as well as an impressive crowd of human music lovers. This should encourage organizers of the Rockford dog park, which is currently working on securing funding for the construction of the proposed park. These furry friends were just a few of the dogs who enjoyed the final performances of the first Rock the Dam event brought to you by Studio D2D’s Dan DeWard.
Next new event this Thursday with Pub & Grub Crawl Organizers estimated the crowd for the final night of Rock the Dam battle of the bands to be as much as 700 fans who enjoyed a fine evening of impressive talent. The six-band showdown for winning youth and adult bands was packed with people, dogs (see an upcoming edition of the Squire for that story) and smiles. A nice blend of ages in the crowd proved this event one that draws young and old and made use of the perfect setting of the stage and Garden Club Park. Dan DeWard of Studio D2D came up with the idea, which was readily approved by City Council in spring. As deejay of the event, with winners chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, DeWard said he was thrilled with the turnout over the three-week music series and plans to make the battle of the bands an annual event. The battle began with 26 bands in youth and adult categories, narrowed down to the final three in each group for the finale. The winning band receives cash prizes and $1,000 in professional studio recording time. All bands received professional photos to be used for promotion, free of charge by Studio D2D. DeWard said he planned the event to add to the summer menu offered in Rockford, where a different festival seems to be taking place every weekend. More importantly, he said he wanted to create a venue to offer exposure to our many very talented musicians in the West Michigan area. DeWard, along with other Rockford-area business people, organized a partnership in Rockford Events Planning to provide a range of services to those who have a gathering planned. The group debuts another Rockford event, the Pub & Grub Crawl, this Thursday, August 18. Participants must wear Pub & Grub Crawl t-shirts, at just $5, and receive fantastic discounts at participating businesses. The Crawl begins with a shotgun start at Rockford Lanes, where crawlers can bowl for $1, play games for beads, and enjoy beverage discounts. Around 7:15 the Crawl moves to the Corner Bar, then to Grill One Eleven, and finally wraps up at the Rogue River Tavern. Crawl t-shirts are available at Studio D2D, The Edge Barber […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last week was all about concerts for the Squire staff who stretched themselves thin by covering four local musical extravaganzas – two in downtown Rockford’s Garden Club Park and two at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park Amphitheater. Photographer Tom Scott was present at the next-to-last concert of this year’s very successful Huntington Bank sponsored 2011 Rogue River Blues Series on Tuesday evening, featuring the world beat of the Red Sea Pedestrians. Thursday evening, Photographer Scott, along with Squire Editor Beth Altena and Office Manager Kate Sickrey, covered the Rock the Dam finals sponsored by: Studio D2D, Sweet Tooth of Rockford, Grand Dental, Dam Dogs, Custard by the Dam, The Corner Bar, Stafford Media Solution & Rockford Independent and Mackinaw Harvest Music Group, Inc. Also Thursday evening, your reporters, Cliff and Nancy were part of a standing room only (literally and figuratively) crowd at the twin bill Los Lonely Boys/Los Lobos concert at Meijer Gardens. Not only was the concert sold out, many in attendance were on their feet for the entire concert – singing, clapping, and dancing to the infectious Tex-Mex blues and rock rhythms of these two iconic groups. For a combined 2 hours and 37 minutes, we enjoyed one of the finest outdoor summer evening concerts we have ever attended. Both of these groups left their egos at the Gardens’ gates. They obviously enjoy one another’s company and revel in the times when they find themselves performing on-stage together, as they did at the end of the first and ending set. They feed off one another’s virtuosity and the audience’s enthusiastic participation. You had to be there to experience it. Everyone was on their feet and grooving as both groups closed out the evening’s performance when they performed Los Lobos huge hit “La Bamba”. We’re not given to a star rating system here but if pressed we would have to offer up 5 out of 5 stars for the evening’s over-the-top concert. To top off the week, the Squire was again back at the Gardens on Friday evening, when Squire Office Manager Kate Sickrey and her guest covered the return of Garrison Keillor’s 2011 Summer Love Tour. To say that Sickrey is a huge fan of […]
Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and the idea guy who came up with Rockford’s Art Capsule event, said more people voted on the 30 local art displays in 2011 than in the first year. “We had a thousand votes, which was more than last year,” Lewis said. This year’s event, designed with the theme of Rockford for the art submissions, culminated on Saturday, August 8 with voting and sampling fare from Rockford restaurants in the second annual Taste of Rockford. Art Capsule voting also took place all week long with art offered in a variety of categories and venues all around downtown. Ten restaurants took part in the Taste event, with all money going to RAAC. A total of $1,300 was raised. Local restaurants participated by offering samples from spring rolls to sliders and tasty treats to top off the edible tour of downtown. Lewis said the restaurants were very generous, providing quality and quantity of impressive proportions for just a dollar or two per sample. Art Capsule was also a popular success. Best of Show was taken by Connie Kuhnle for her “Faces of Rockford.” Best Two-Dimensional Art went to local painter Linda Bassford, who presented “Watermelon Kids.” Best Three-Dimensional Art was won by Lois Carpenter with “The Dam Fish.” Best Photography was a tie between Dan DeWard with “Dream, Believe, Perform, Achieve” and Stacy Niedzwiecki with her work “Wash – Rinse – Repeat.” “It wasn’t bad for a wet, rainy day,” said Lewis.