Letters to Santa
November 28 - December 7

Stroll On State Events & Attractions

Project First Rate

Stroll on State 2023 Timeline

More event details coming soon. 

Jump to Event

Parade  |  Tree Lighting Ceremonies  |  Fireworks  | 
Santa  |    Horse & Wagon Rides  |  Letters to Santa  | 
Fire & Ice  |  Ice Skating  |  Snow Much Fun |  
Live Performances  |  Blitzen's Ball  |  Movie Land  |
Classic Car Show  |  Food & Drink  |  Social Media

Stroll on State Parade

Stroll on State’s Holiday Parade, sponsored by The Power Connection – IBEW 364 & NECA steps off on S. Main Street at Chestnut Street at 2 p.m. and will move north to State Street 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. HolmstromKennedy PC and Mercyhealth each are sponsoring a holiday-themed balloon. Hard Rock Casino Rockford is rocking the parade by sponsoring the remaining balloons, including a SURPRISE new balloon built custom for the Stroll parade!

Tree Lighting Ceremony

One of the event’s most popular moments – the lighting of the city tree – will take place at 6 p.m. at the Main Stage at Main and Elm streets. This year’s City of Rockford tree is sponsored by the Northwestern Illinois Building Trades. The Main Stage, sponsored by ComEd, will feature music and other entertainment throughout the day.

Stroll on State Fireworks


Sky Lights Fireworks, presented 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 8:30 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.


Keep your eye open for Santa Claus who will be roaming throughout the festival. You may find him at a S’mores station, taking care of his reindeer, on state at the tree lighting or grabbing a hot chocolate. Rudolph’s Reindeer Village, sponsored by Mercyhealth, is back and will be at Veterans Memorial Hall.

Horse & Wagon Rides

Horse & Wagon Rides, sponsored by Amazon will be in one location – check back for the line-up location.

Letters to Santa at Stroll on State

Letters to Santa

During Stroll, your favorite group of elves will be back at Rockford City Hall to collect letters and give them to Santa! Sponsored by FurstStaffing, kids can write a letter to Santa, decorate the paper and mail it on-site to the North Pole.

Fire & Ice - Block 5 Party

This is a must-see, second-time event in the 500 block of East State Street. Warm up with the Fire Pits, experience the DJ battle, shop and dine at local establishments on the block and see the popular Fire & Ice wow crowds as blocks of ice dissolve into beautiful bonfires creating an enchanting display.

Ice Skating at BMO Center

Take a break from strolling the grounds and lace up some ice skates at the BMO Center put on by the Rockford Park District and the Rockford IceHogs

Snow Much Fun

Run, jump and play with the Rockford Park District in the lot outside of Veterans Memorial Hall. Packed full of family friendly activities and games for all ages. Additionally, there will be blow-up street hockey provided by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation.

Live Performances

We are so excited to feature the tremendous talent of our local artists and a few others playing their favorite holiday music at this year’s Stroll on State. With many stages to choose from, you’ll have several opportunities to catch a band or two while taking in the sights and celebrating the season. Santa will be making a special appearance at each stage, along with special guests and live musical performances. Live music will begin at 2pm and conclude at 9pm.

Blitzen's Ball - Character Dance Party for Kids

From princesses to heroes and everything in between this dance party is hosted by Forest City Fairytale Company and will take place Stewart Square at the corner of State and Main. The characters and music will be around throughout the event so be sure to stop by to create another set of memories. This event is sponsored by OSF Medical Center.

Indoor and Outdoor Movie Land

See the return of the fan favorite Outdoor Movie Land  in Lot 4 next to Jimmy Johns and across from Capri Restaurant or experience the new Indoor Movie Land in Stewart Square sponsored by Xfinity. “The Grinch” will be shown at each location.

Holiday Hot Rods Classic Car Show

Hosted by Cars & Coffee Rockford see this combination of classic and vintage cars decked out for the holidays in the parking lot behind CJ’s Bar & Grill at 115 N. Madison Street. Prizes for best in class as well as best decorated vehicles.

Food & Drink

Two Holiday Markets will host local retail and food vendors and are sponsored by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and the Rockford IceHogs Community Fund. S’mores stations will be set up in three locations. These yummy, gooey snacks are made fresh to order by Stroll grill masters. The popular Hot Chocolate Express will be at two locations – in the Veterans Memorial Hall parking lot and next to the Outdoor Movie Land. Adult beverages are available at four locations throughout the footprint.  Exclusive Stroll on State merchandise is also available for purchase at each of the adult beverage locations. 

Social Media

Frozen in Time Selfie Stations - Stop at any or better yet all of our Selfie Stations at Stroll on State.  Check out the map for this year’s locations and pose for your perfect shot! The prize will be a very special Stroll gift. Sponsored by General Mills.