Revel in a weekend overflowing with festivals, farmer’s markets, food trucks, and endless fun! Rockford's CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival takes center stage with live music and creative performances on two stages, mural painting, creative interactive activities, mural tours and more. Seize the opportunity for an epic summer kickoff in Rockford—it’s one you won’t want to miss! Follow our tips to maximize your Rockford weekend getaway.

Stay At a Convenient Hotel

Embassy Suites by Hilton is located near the Main Street District and is a walkable distance to the CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival happening downtown all weekend long! Amenities include a seasonal rooftop restaurant and outdoor deck with a stunning view of the Rock River, a salon and spa, indoor swimming pool, a business center, and a first-floor restaurant and patio adjacent to Davis Park. In addition to Embassy Suites, Rockford boasts over 30 convenient hotels to help with your lodging needs. Book your getaway here!

Embassy Suites Drone

Taste Local Flavors

Rockford is bustling with amazing restaurants. Eating downtown? Rockford City Market and the CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival will have an extensive array of food trucks to choose from. Otherwise, check out these local favorites situated downtown within walking distance to the CRE8IV festival:

  • Abreo - a modern American dining establishment, captivates its patrons with inventive cuisine and captivating presentations. Every dish narrates a tale of culinary mastery and meticulous craftsmanship, rendering it a perfect selection for a romantic rendezvous.
  • Ambiance - this hotspot specializes in reimagined Creole soul cuisine, expertly paired with unique cocktails. Renowned for their mac and cheese, hailed as among the finest in the city, it stands as their signature dish, beckoning food enthusiasts far and wide.
  • Sisters Thai Café - this cherished local gem is a family-owned and operated eatery renowned for its authentic Thai and Laotian cuisine. Each dish is meticulously prepared to order using treasured family recipes, ensuring a fresh and delightful dining experience for patrons.
  • Woodfire Pizza - savor innovative specialty pizzas like the Lobster & Shrimp Pizza, featuring a savory lobster base topped with succulent lobster and shrimp medallions, fresh mozzarella, Grana Padano, and a drizzle of drawn butter their Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza, boasting house-made ranch, herb-roasted chicken, crispy bacon, fresh mozzarella, cheddar cheese, and a kick of jalapenos and green onions.
  • 27 Aluna – this trendy downtown spot offers authentic Filipino cuisine, conveniently nestled on Main Street close to the Coronado Theatre. Their menu showcases traditional family recipes from the Philippines infused with contemporary flair.

Restaurant Week (27 Aluna)

Friday, May 31

CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival
When: 5 - 10 p.m.
Where: Near 1st Street and E. State Street Intersection
Price: Free

The festival will include a full music lineup and a variety of fun activities including free take-home art activities available for all ages and abilities. Attendees can also expect a craft beer & distillery tent, food trucks, street performers, and can watch a mural being painted live front and center at the festival!

CRE8IV Festival Header

Rockford City Market
When: 4 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Water Street at East State Street, Rockford, IL 61104
Price: Free

Rockford City Market is a bustling hub showcasing the best of local growers, vendors, and food trucks. Here, you'll find an array of handmade treasures, from fresh vegetables, fruits, and eggs to succulent meats, cheeses, and vibrant flowers. Indulge your senses with fragrant herbs, delectable baked goods, and exquisite wines.

Rockford City Market

Friday Night Flix
When: 6:30 p.m.
Where: Davis Park | 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford, IL 61101
Price: Free

Relax on the lawn at Davis Park for a family friendly movie night. Pre-movie activities, food vendors, and desserts are also available.

Rockford Rivets Opening Night
When: 6:35 p.m.
Where: Rivets Stadium | 4502 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park, IL 61111
Price: $12

Cheer on Rockford’s very own Northwoods League baseball team on opening night!

Rockford Rivets stadium

Saturday, June 1

CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival
When: 12 - 10 p.m.
Where: Near 1st Street and E. State Street Intersection
Price: Free

The party continues at CRE8IV, don’t miss Rockford’s first drone show Saturday night!

Rockford Area Pride Parade
When: 11:00 a.m.
Where: Begins at Charles Street and end at Beattie Park
Price: Free

Rockford's inaugural pride parade begins Saturday at 11 a.m. Beforehand, catch speeches from Mayor Tom McNamara of the City of Rockford, who will read the Pride Month Proclamations. Representative Eric Sorenson (IL-17) will share comments, and Andrew J. Mertzenich, Chair of the Committee, will give thanks. Speeches start at 10:45 a.m. on the main stage, positioned in front of Maze Books (406 E. State Street, Rockford IL 61104).

pride banner

Rockford Pride Alley Party
When: 1 – 8 p.m.
Where: The Office Nightclub | 513 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61104
Price: Free

After the parade, the festivities begin with live music, food and beverage vendors, and lots of entertainment at the Pride Alley Party.

Klehm Arboretum Garden Fair Weekend
When: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden | 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, IL 61102
Price: $8 Presale | $10 Gate Admission | FREE for Klehm members and children 12 & under

Join Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden for their 30th garden fair weekend! Satisfy your green thumb with a diverse array of plants, flowers, garden décor, art, educational information booths, and more! Visitors can enjoy live music performances in the Fountain Garden while savoring meals from local food truck vendors.

klehm garden fair

When: 12 – 11:50 p.m.
Where: Olympic Tavern | 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103
Price: Free

Celebrate all things pickle at the first ever Picklefest. Pickle pizza, frickles (fried pickles), pickleback shots, and pickleball courts are a few of the fun things you can expect throughout the day.

Sunday, June2

CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival
When: 12 - 5 p.m.
Price: Free

Don't miss the final day of CRE8IV!

Klehm Arboretum Garden Fair Weekend
When: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden | 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, IL 61102
Price: $8 Presale | $10 Gate Admission | FREE for Klehm members and children 12 & under

Live at Levings: Kick-Off
When: 5 – 8 p.m.
Where: Levings Park | 1420 S. Pierpont Ave., Rockford, IL 61102
Price: Free

Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes for an evening of live music! Levings Summer Concert series begins with a talented lineup of soul and blues artists including DJ H-Fresh, saxophonist Harlan Jefferson, and southern blues artist Sir Charles Jones.

live at levings

Don't miss out on the chance to kickstart your summer in Rockford with an unforgettable weekend! Grab this opportunity for an epic summer kickoff that promises excitement and memories to treasure. Join us and make this summer one for the books!