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Memorial Day Observance - 150th Anniversary

Additional Information

Decoration Day/Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

9:00am-10:30am - Memorial Day Parade
A Rockford tradition since 1870, the parade will feature area veterans organizations, shcool bands, and police and fire departments. The parade will begin near the intersection of 7th St. and 6th Ave. and proceed north on 7th St. to Charles St., then west on State St., and north on Wyman St. to Beattie Park. This year’s parade is in honor of Navy Veteran BERNIE JOHNSON, a long time Memorial Day parade organizer, who passed away April 17, 2018.

10:30am-11:00am - Memorial Day Program (East side of Memorial Hall)
The Memorial Day program will include comments from Theodore Roosevelt (aka Joe Wiegand), Col. David Draeger Senior Army Instructor RPS 205/Auburn, and Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney. We will conclude the ceremony with a Memorial Dove release.

11:00am-11:30am - Sinking of the Ship Ceremony
There will be a wreath presentation, a 21 gun salute by the Rockford Detachment Marine Corp League, and the sinking of the ship presented by the Navy Club Ship #1 on the river behind the Downtown Rockford Public Library.

5:00pm-7:00pm - 1st Brigade Concert (Veterans Memorial Hall Auditorium)
The Circle of Change, in collaboration with the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Logan Camp #26, will hold a mixed performing arts observance of the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day featuring music and vocals by the 1st Brigade Band playing antique Civil War era instruments. In addition Joe Wiegand, considered the world’s premiere Theodore Roosevelt repriser, will be performing. Both have performed in the White House.

Subarea:Rockford Downtown

Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum - 211 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61101 - From I-90 and E. State St. (US Business 20): west 6.5 miles on Business 20, which becomes one-way as Jefferson St., to Wyman (first street after the bridge over Rock River). Turn left (south) on Wyman to Mulberry. From I-39: west on US 20 Bypass to IL 2 (S. Main). Go north on IL 2 to the downtown area. Park in lots at Wyman and Mulberry or along the Rock River behind the Rockford Public Library across Wyman. Entrances to Memorial Hall are on Wyman and on N. Main. Free parking in the lot on the south side at Mulberry and Wyman.

Memorial Day Observance - 150th Anniversary
  • May 28, 2018
  • Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum
  • $10 all ages for concert | Parade and other morning programs are free