On the Waterfront launches 20th year

On the Waterfront launches 20th year

By Brandon Reid, Assistant Editor

On the Waterfront (OTW) kicked off its 20th year and unveiled the festival’s new logo June 4 at a press conference at the South Main Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Rockford. OTW is scheduled for Aug. 29-31 and will cover 30 city blocks in downtown Rockford.

Following a short introduction, Rockford Mayor Doug Scott, Associated Bank President Tom Walsh, and OTW President and CEO Becky Genoways pushed a mock dynamite plunger that shot off a sea of purple, green and gold confetti, unveiling the 2003 OTW logo on a large purple banner that unfurled from the second level of the South Main Street parking deck.

Scott, who referred to himself and his wife, Tammy, as “festival rats,” said: “You’ve heard me say it time and time again how much Tammy and I love this event. It’s an opportunity to see lots of people downtown enjoying the many great things happening in downtown Rockford.

“On the Waterfront is something that’s absolutely fantastic, and we’re glad to be a part of it every year,” Scott said. “It’s a great community event … everybody pitches in. It takes a lot of sponsors and a lot of volunteers to make this event work.”

The 2003 logo (pictured), designed by MedicineMan, Inc., rests on a bed of red, orange, yellow and green flames, and has a Mardi Gras feel to it. The word Waterfront, which flows like water, is inlaid with sparkling diamonds and outlined in gold. A gold 20 for the 20th celebration is the center of the logo, and ivory keys of a piano form the foundation of the logo. The band of the crown is laced with diamonds and portrays the Jefferson Street Bridge and its lighted arches. Stars, which have been a continuous theme with OTW since the 1996 campaign, shoot out from the logo.

This is the fifth year MedicineMan has designed the festival’s logo. The local agency has developed the campaigns that have won three Grand Pinnacle Awards, two Bronze Grand Pinnacles in 2000 (for the “Where Cool Cats Play” campaign) and in 2001 (for the “Wild Ride” campaign), and a tie (with the Kentucky Derby Festival) for the Gold Grand Pinnacle Award in 2002 for the “Urban Diversion” campaign.

“The new logo celebrates and shows off a lot of the fun things happening at this year’s festival,” Walsh said. Associated Bank is the presenting sponsor for the event for the ninth straight year.

“Associated Bank is very, very proud again to be involved with On the Waterfront,” Walsh said. “It’s an opportunity for us … to get involved in our community. It’s the most fun time of year in Rockford. It’s a great festival.”

Along with many popular local and area performers, Jethro Tull, Willie Nelson and Cheap Trick are scheduled to headline at this year’s festival. The new logo will be the focus of the festival’s marketing campaign, and will be featured on festival T-shirts and buttons.

Admission buttons are on sale online for $9 and will be shipped beginning in July. Button outlet sales begin July 18 at more than 150 outlets throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Buttons are $9 in advance and $14 at the gate for adults, $9 at the gate for children 8 to 12 years of age; children 8 and under are free. Contact the OTW corporate office at 815-964-4388 for information.

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