Rockford to fete 30th annual River Days

Rockford is known for a lot of things. It’s beautiful park overlooking the Crow River and its fun loving residents are just a couple of things that come to mind. Put the two together, and invite all the latter’s family and friends and you have one heck of a good time on your hands. Now just imagine three event-packed days that cover all interests and age groups.

The Rockford Fire Department, a 33-member volunteer department, rolls out this classic to honor past firefighters.

The Rockford Fire Department, a 33-member volunteer department, rolls out this classic to honor past firefighters.

Well, the dream becomes reality from Friday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 12, when the 30th annual Rockford River Days celebration opens for business. And this year, you can immortalize the memory in a photo booth, a new high-tech and affordable option that’s certain to be a big hit.

On Friday at 5 p.m., the beer tents, food booths and midway open to the public. Shortly to follow, the Rockford Lions will be serving up spaghetti and the Rockford Ambassadors ice cream floats. And, if you like rock, county or pop music, they got you covered. The Shane Martin band will perform live under the big tent beginning at 8.

Make sure you rest up, because there’s plenty more in store.

Rockford Rockets hitch a ride on the District 883 float.

Rockford Rockets hitch a ride on the District 883 float.

On Saturday, from 8 to 10 a.m., the Lions are back at it serving pancakes in the Lions Building. Among the events for Saturday are a 5k USATF certified run (8:30 a.m.), a volleyball tournament (9 a.m.), Whiskered Walleye (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Boy and Cub Scout Mobile Races (10 a.m. at Ash and Maple Streets), a meet and greet with Rockford Ambassador Candidates (10 a.m.), a cribbage tournament (beginning at 10 a.m.), Diego Bounce (noon to 5 p.m.), Raft Racing and Texas Hold’em (1 p.m.), Bingo (From 1:30 to 3:30), a Duck Drop (3:15) and Water Ball (5 p.m. in front of the Rockford Library).

The Lions will serve a Pork Chop Dinner at 4. Concessions, the beer tent and midway all open at 11 a.m. and close at midnight.

There’s also a dance at 8 p.m. featuring the music of “Captain May I?” with an intermission for a fantastic fireworks display.

Sunday is full to the brim. More volleyball (8 a.m.), an Ecumenical Service (10:30), a marketplace with vendors (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Lions serving up Turkey (11 a.m.), and the Wellness Van (1 to 4 p.m.).

Oh, then there’s the parade. The Rockford Grand River Days Paraded to be exact, a huge draw with marching bands, floats and more. This year’s Grand Marshals, Marsha and Doug White, will kick this historic event off at noon.

The new Rockford River Days Ambassadors will be crowned in a ceremony beginning at 3 p.m. The midway opens at 11 a.m., the beer tent at noon. Both close at 5 p.m.

So what do say, Rockford, are you ready for River Days this year? It’s coming up fast.

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