Summer might be the most fun season in Rockford, Loves Park, and Machesney Park — and there are plenty of events that can get you out and about in the warm weather. Check out some of the events you can go see this summer in the 815 area!
Anderson Gardens, ranked as one of the top Japanese Gardens in the country, has live music with food and drinks vendors each Tuesday from May 28 until August 27. Miles Nielsen and Harlan Jefferson are among the headlining acts for this summer. More information can be found at Anderson Garden’s website.
Each Tuesday and Thursday during the summer, there are free concerts at the Sinnissippi Park Band Shell. The Rockford Park District also has weekly entertainment at other locations; be sure to check the Park District’s website for more information!
Local farmers will have fresh vegetables, eggs, fruit as well as freshly prepared bread, cheese, and desserts amongst other items for you to peruse. This farmers market takes place at the Edgebrook Center on Alpine Rd. every Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. between May and October!
Each Wednesday, Burpee Museum will host live music with vendors for food and drink at the amphitheater along the river. The event goes from 4:30-8:30 and is free to the public! VIP tickets can be purchased for $15.
Every Thursday from mid-May through the end of August, Prairie Street Brewhouse (200 Prairie Street, Rockford) will have live music and food served on the docks from 5-10 p.m. This is a great time to gather with friends and enjoy the beautiful riverfront and downtown atmosphere. If you have a boat, feel free to avoid the roads and dock your boat right at Prairie Street!
Thursday afternoon and evenings from May 17 to September 27, Rockford will have both an outdoor and indoor city market. The outdoor market is located on Water St. and Market St. at the City Market Pavilion, and stretches from State St. to the Riverview Ice Arena parking lot. Last summer, there were 78 vendors coming from up to 150 miles away to participate in the weekly market featuring food, apparel, jewelry, craft breweries, all while live music is performed under the pavilion. Last summer, there were nearly 100,000 visitors that made their way downtown for the City Market. This year, the Indoor Market is also opening!
The ELEMENT Rockford is hosting its second annual Food Truck Fest this year on August 24, and it’s about as exciting as one might imagine. The organizers (led by our very own Tyler Pickering!) are adding even more food trucks this year, and there will be burgers and fries from 15th & Chris, wood fire cooked pizza from Veebo’s Pizza, Southeast Asian cuisine from Wok n Roll, and many more! Did I mention live music and good drinks? Check out the event’s Facebook page and bring all your friends down to Water St!
The Rockford Rivets are entering their fourth season as a member of the Northwoods League, the largest college summer developmental baseball league in the world. Players from as far as Texas and California come to gain experience in this wood bat league, which plays 72 games in 76 days each summer. Check out the calendar for a full schedule for the summer of 2019!
The Rockford Starfires is the women’s baseball team that mimics the game played by the Rockford Peaches with a 9″ hardball and overhand pitching. Games are free, only a donation of food pantry items is required at the door! Did we mention the Starfires play games at Beyer Stadium, the same location the Peaches used to play? More information can be found on the City of Rockford’s website.
The Ski Broncs are Rockford’s water ski show team, with shows every Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The shows are free and can be viewed from Shorewood Park in Loves Park.
We’ve shared quite a bit with you already, but there are a few places to look to find a more comprehensive list of summer happenings. The City of Rockford has a calendar with nearly all these events and many more listed for you with links for tickets or more information. In addition, there will be plenty of fun shows at the Coronado Performing Arts Center and events at Burpee Museum of Natural History and The Discovery Center. The Rockford Park District is nationally ranked each year, too, so be sure to check out any events that might be happening at their facilities.
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