Rockford, are you ready? Annual River Days celebration Aug. 9, 10, 11

The biggest citywide celebration of 2013 will kickoff this Friday, Aug. 9, beginning at 5 p.m. in Riverside Park in downtown Rockford, and finish up the following Sunday evening.

In between there’s an enticing variety of fun events and entertainment for all ages. Most of the activity takes place at the park, with a few exceptions.

A carnival with games, rides and food will open for business Friday evening at 5 p.m. The Lions will be serving up spaghetti and the Ambassador candidates will be handing out root beer floats. Both are fundraisers.

At 8, dance under the stars to the county, rock and pop sounds of the Shane Martin Band. The beer garden will be open until midnight.

For those with a competitive streak, or enthusiasts who like to cheer participants on, Saturday comes early with a 5k USATF certified run, pancakes, and volleyball tournaments. The Cub and Boy Scouts of the Rockford area will race at Ash and Maple Streets.

The midway is open from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Visitors will find several fun events running through out the day including a bean bag toss, a business market place with local vendors, ambassadors mingling, bingo, Texas Hold’em, Duck Drop, Fire Fighter Water Ball and much more. The Lions will have their famous pork chops ready by 4 p.m., and the dance will rock with Captain May I at 8. Everyone takes a break at dusk to watch the annual “ooh, ahhh” fireworks extravaganza.

For those who love a parade, and a crowning, there will both on Sunday. The Grand Parade makes its way through city streets beginning at noon, and will finish at the park. At 3 p.m., the new Rockford Ambassadors will be crowned.

More games, midway, food and the Allina Wellness van makes a stop. The midway is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information, and scheduling, of all events, visit