Stroll on State is almost here! If you’re planning to attend this festive event presented by Illinois Bank & Trust, here are 8 tips that will help your experience be the best it can be this year!

1. Parking? Never fear, shuttle buses are here!

On-street parking, parking decks and surface parking lots will be available as posted. There also will be three Remote Parking Lots with free shuttle bus transportation, sponsored by Rockford Mass Transit District, again this year at the YMCA, 200 Y Boulevard (handicapped accessible paratransit buses are available); Forest City Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road; and Crusader Clinic (1200 W. State St.). Shuttle buses run continuously from 1:30 – 9:30 p.m.

2. ATMs are spread throughout the Stroll on State grounds

Illinois Bank & Trust is providing ATMs at several locations on the Stroll on State grounds for your convenience. You can find the ATMs at both Frosty’s Merry Market locations, Davis Park, near the Hot Chocolate Express, and more. View the Stroll on State map to see all locations.

3. Stay connected on social media

Make sure you use the hashtag #strollonstate and tag @gorockford on your social media channels! New this year - you can show your love for Stroll on State by using our custom-made Snapchat filter. And don’t forget to follow the GoRockford channels on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter all night long to get an inside view of Stroll on State.

4. Don’t miss the classic attractions

In 2021, the main Stroll event grounds will be along State Street in downtown Rockford bordered by Jefferson, Church, Chestnut and Third Streets while also extending south into Davis Park.

The popular Hot Chocolate Express will be at two locations, in Davis Park and next to MovieLand, sponsored by Xfinity, which features a special recipe hot chocolate with sprinkles of marshmallows.

Rudolph’s Reindeer Village, sponsored by Mercyhealth, will once again be created in Davis Park. A couple of reindeer who power Santa’s sleigh will be there to enjoy the winter wonderland.

Stroll on State Christmas tree

5. Three Tree Lightings at three different times

One of the most popular moments of years past – the Tree Lighting Ceremony – will take place at three different locations and at different times.

At 5 p.m. a tree lighting ceremony will take place at the Silver Bell Stage and Tree, sponsored by Accuride, at Eddie Green Place on the corner of 1st and E. State St.

Then at 6 p.m. the Rockford City Tree, sponsored by the Northwestern Illinois Building Trades, will be lighted at Davis Park.

Finally, at 7 p.m. the third tree lighting will take place at the Jingle Bell Tree and Stage at the corner of N. Main. St. and Mulberry St.

6. Sky Lights Fireworks Show

Sky Lights Fireworks, sponsored by Pierce Distribution, will once again light up the skies of downtown Rockford, except this time they will be launched from the Jefferson Street Bridge at 8 p.m.! Viewers will be able to see the fireworks from anywhere in the festival if they can see the Jefferson Street Bridge. This change will allow for more spacing while the skies burst with color.

7. Don’t miss making a stop at Davis Park

The most beautiful tree in the Rockford region, the Rockford City Tree, sponsored by the Northwestern Illinois Building Trades, will be lighted in Davis Park at 6 p.m. Gather with friends and family and enjoy the magical moment while coming together as a community. Elsewhere in the park, there will be a stage with performances, hot chocolate and s’mores, fire pits and adult beverages.

Rudolph’s Reindeer Village, sponsored by Mercyhealth, will once again be created in Davis Park. A couple of reindeer who power Santa’s sleigh will be there to enjoy the winter wonderland. There will even be a special appearance with Ana and Kristof with their special reindeer friends.

Davis Park will also be home to Lollipop Lane, sponsored by UW Health, where holiday decorations will fill the area and make for great photo ops!

8. Safety is our priority

To ensure a safe return to Stroll on State, we have worked closely with the Winnebago County Health Department and the City of Rockford. To minimize transmission of Covid-19 and to comply with event industry best practices several updates have been made for this year’s event including: a larger footprint, multiple tree lighting ceremonies, a new time and location for fireworks, Santa pop-up visits, indoor and outdoor Letters to Santa mailbox locations, requiring masks or face coverings for all indoor locations, additional space between vendors at outdoor markets and hand sanitizing stations located throughout the event, among other enhancements.

For more information and a full listing of events and attractions at Stroll on State, visit StrollOnState.com.