10 Fun FREE Activities

Ice Festival – Second Saturday in February

Chase away those mid-winter blues with this nationally-acclaimed festival. Randy Finch, and his crew at Ice Gurus, Limited, come to Rockford and bring their beautiful ice sculptures with them. Enjoy a playable mini golf course with your family – all sculpted in glittering ice. Ice sculptures line the downtown streets for your viewing pleasure, and live carving demonstrations are on the schedule both Saturday and Sunday. During the event in 2012, the Guinness World Record for the longest sundae bar was shattered! See what fun is on the schedule for this year!

Farm Market – Saturdays ~ June – October

This award-winning open-air market, sponsored by the City of Rockford, features fresh-grown produce from only Michigan farms. A variety of delicious fruits and vegetables are on display each week and the selection changes as the season progresses. Also available are flowers, homemade bread and honey, fresh from the hives.

Huntington Rogue River Blues Series ~ Tuesdays ~ June – August

This free outdoor concert series is a huge hit among visitors and locals, alike. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, sit back and enjoy some of the best blues bands in the area. Don’t have time to pack a dinner? – Just visit one of the many fine restaurants in the area and take it with you. The concerts take place in the heart of downtown Rockford in Garden Club Park. The setting is picture-perfect with the stage resting on the banks of the beautiful rolling waters of the Rogue River.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail ~ All Year Long

This paved stretch of trail is part of the state’s Rails to Trails program. The conversion of rail beds to a paved path for bikers, walkers and rollerbladers  has allowed outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature along White Pine Trail. The path runs along the bank of the Rogue River and features bridges, picnic areas, a nature preserve, wooded acreage and a look at plenty of wildlife along the way.

Start of Summer Celebration – Second weekend in June

Help us celebrate the end of the school year and the start of the hazy, crazy days of summer. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s celebration features fireworks, parade, children activities, a craft fair and plenty of food and fun. Also featured are carnival rides on the midway.

ArtCapsule/Taste of Rockford –  First Saturday in August

Visitors are invited to stroll the streets of Rockford and enjoy the artwork that is set up in the quaint downtown shops in Rockford. The Rockford Area Arts Commission event features different types of media and the pieces gathering the most votes wins a prize. To go along with the art, local restaurants gather under tents and offer their tasty fare for just a $1 – it is a wonderful way to get a taste of terrific food and enjoy art.

Rotary Reading Festival – Second Saturday in August

Reading Rocks in Rockford – and this Rockford Rotary Club literacy festival shows it. A parade of favorite storybook characters kicks off this family-friendly event and ends in Garden Club Park. There are plays, entertainment and plenty of talented authors on hand at the park, autographing books and telling stories. It is a great way to teach your kids the value of the written word and that it can open up new adventures – and you don’t even have to leave home.

Art in the Park – Second Saturday in September

This open-air art show is a huge hit every year. It is a juried event that takes place along the banks of the Rogue River in Garden Club Park. The beautiful work of artists is on display in nature’s perfect setting and features artwork in clay, pen, oil, photography, sculpture and other mediums. This is another event hosted by the Rockford Area Arts Commission.

Harvest Festival – Last weekend is Sept. first two weekends in Oct.

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce helps the community celebrate the Harvest each year in this two-weekend event. Take a step back in time and enjoy building a scarecrow, a hayride through the downtown streets, musical entertainment and a petting zoo. The event is host of a Chili Cook Off, Classic Car Show, Tractor Parade, Children’s Costume Contest and Kid’s Tractor Pull. There are demonstrations of weaving, soapmaking and wood carving and plenty of children’s activities – all free!

Holiday Lighting Ceremony – Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving Week

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the City of Rockford kick off the holiday season with this beautiful event taking place in Peppler Park, right by the Rockford Dam. Christmas Carols, performed beautifully by the Rockford High School Choirs and the RHS Jazz Ensemble start the evening. A Message of Peace is then presented and the countdown begins amid darkness. When the crowd reaches zero, Rockford is illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights that are adorning every tree, light pole and bush along the dam and the downtown streets.