The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to announce that the seventh annual Stroll on State, presented by Illinois Bank & Trust, is set to return on Saturday, November 30 in downtown Rockford. The free community event, which is always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, attracted more than 87,500 guests last year!
"As we approach Stroll on State's seventh year in the Rockford region, I am awestruck at just how much this event continues to evolve with the help of so many. Each year, I am reminded that our community is filled with so many selfless, big-hearted people and businesses who help our RACVB team put on this amazing event," said Tana Vettore, RACVB's director of destination development. "The magic of the season shines through our downtown during Stroll and brings people together in a variety of ways. We are truly thankful to our partners, volunteers, patrons, sponsors and vendors for their support throughout the years and this year."
What's New? - Stroll's Top 7 Announcements for 2019
1. Stroll on State's Holiday Parade starts at 2 p.m.
The Stroll Parade has expanded this year adding even more attractions and fun surprises! Stroll on State's Holiday Parade, presented by The Power Connection - IBEW 364 & NECA, will step off on South Main Street at Chestnut Street at 2 p.m. and stroll north to State Street and then east across the State Street Bridge, ending at 3rd Street. Parade onlookers are encouraged to find a spot along the route starting at 1 p.m. The parade will feature eight large-scale holiday-themed and character balloons - including Buddy the Dinosaur and Butterscotch the Elf, several festive floats, live music, DJs and a few extra surprises.
Calling for Parade Entries: Local organizations and businesses are invited to participate in the parade. The parade committee is pleased to provide commercially prepared floats for rental and use. Deadline to register is November 1. For pricing options and information, contact Kristen Paul, RACVB's destination development operations manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.gorockford.com/stroll-on-state/parade/ for a list of rules and to download a registration form.
2. Take a stroll through Strollville
Strollville is the largest, new attraction at Stroll on State this year. Strollville will include real elf houses that children can play inside. There will be plenty to see, touch and take photos with, including a larger-than-life Elf parade balloon. Strollville is also the location of Rudolph's Reindeer Village, Santa's very own reindeer. This interactive experience will be located immediately east of BMO Harris Bank Center and one block south of the City of Rockford Christmas tree.
3. Reimagined Main Stage and Tree Lighting Experience
This year there will be a reimagined tree lighting experience for the Official City of Rockford Christmas Tree, sponsored by Northwestern Illinois Building Trades. To accommodate growing crowds and to allow guests additional vantage points from which to view the stage, the Main Stage, sponsored by Gallagher Williams-Manny is moving to the southwest corner of Wyman and State Streets (just west of the former location). There will be special moments to enjoy and guests are encouraged to sing together and count down to the official tree lighting. Watch for Santa as he makes a special appearance during the music production beginning at 5:45 and count down to the tree lighting beginning approximately at 6:15 p.m.
4. Sky Lights Fireworks Displayed in a New Location
The Sky Lights Fireworks presented by Pierce Distribution will launch from Davis Park immediately following the tree lighting production. Some of the best viewing locations will be from Wyman Street and the East State Street bridge. Viewing in Davis Park will not be permitted.
5. Additional Performance Stage Added to the Lineup
There were so many performance applicants this year it was clear that we needed a third stage to accommodate all of the great talent from the local and regional areas. The newest stage added to the lineup is the Sleigh Bell stage, which will be located in front of Chase Bank along East State Street. This stage is in addition to the Silver Bell and Jingle Bell stages, sponsored by PCI Pharma Services.
6. River Lights Experience Shines in a New Location
Under the Jefferson Street bridge, catch the synchronized light show, Rockford's River Lights - Dancin' in the Street, sponsored by Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 23.
7. Newly Enhanced Frosty's Merry Market
Stroll on State's vendor experience has been expanded this year with new and returning outdoor food, beverage and gift vending at two locations: Rockford City Market Pavilion at the corner of East State and Water Streets, and the parking lot at the corner of West State and Wyman Streets. Exact locations of the vendors will be announced soon.