Rockford River Days, the countdown begins

Rockford River Days is Rockford’s biggest annual event, and runs from Aug. 10 to 12 this year in Riverside Park.

In the background, volunteers are working furiously to get everything up and running.

Keeping in tradition with the 3-day celebration you’ve come to know and love as "Rockford River Days" are some surprises among returning favorites. The days are flying by, and here’s a peak at what awaits you this year.

Friday – The Rockford Lions will hold a spaghetti dinner at the Lion’s building at Riverside Park on Friday, Aug. 10, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Beer tent, food booths and midway rides open at 5.

The Shane Martin Band will kick off the weekend dance scene with a little rock, country and pop. This is a very popular twin cities band that will get you up on your feet.

Saturday – You’ll want to get up early on Saturday for pancakes at the Lion’s building from 8 a.m. to 10:30. This ought to fuel your engine for the 5K run, volleyball tournament, walleye contest and cribbage competition. Then, drop in for an afternoon of Texas Hold’em, raft races and Bingo.

The local Cub and Boy Scouts will start races at Ash and Maple Streets at 10, and the midway opens at 11 a.m.

Rockford Lions will serve their famous pork chops at 4 p.m. And, this year cool off with "water ball".

The music of "Captain May I" begins at 8, with an intermission for the most awesome firework s this side of Minneapolis.

Sunday – Sunday is major fun day. New this year is the River Days Marketplace, with local vendor setting up shop in the park.

The grand parade will make its way down Rockford streets and to the park beginning at noon, and it’s quite the event. It brings followers to Riverside Park where even more opportunities for fun await.

Beer, food and games all begin at 11 a.m. in the midway, and the Lions will be serving turkey and sponsoring a wellness van.

The Rockford Ambassador Coronation is at 3 p.m., always a big celebration.

Too much to mention, too much to miss.

All events are in located in Riverside Park unless otherwise mentioned. For more information, go to