On the Waterfront Preveiw

On the Waterfront Preveiw

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

Here’s a sneak peek at the almost 15-year-old festival that attracts more than 350,000 annually who take a break from their daily workload on Labor Day weekend.

On Friday, July 27, representatives from On The Waterfront, Inc. announced buttons are on sale and highlights at Mayor Doug Scott’s weekly press conference at Associated Bank, 612 N. Main St., which is presenting OTW. Scott said OTW is “one of the crown jewels of Rockford.”

Buttons cost $8 if purchased before the festival and $12 at the gate. Buttons for children ages 6 to 12 are $8 at the gate, and children 5 and under are free. Senior citizens can receive discounted buttons for $7 in advance at particular locations.

Also, a limited number of Family Fun Packs are being sold at Associated Banks. They cost $35 (a $58 value) and are good for four admission buttons and $10 in OTW food tickets.

Call the OTW office at 964-4388 or look online at www.onthewaterfront.com to find out where to buy buttons and Family Fun Packs and to learn about River District Discounts.

Heartsfield and Sawyer Brown will kick off the OTW Thursday, Aug. 30. Jonny Lang, whom OTW has tried to bring to Rockford for three years, will rock Rockford. Jam to Funkmasters, War and Morris Day and the Time. The John Pizzarelli Trio, which has been compared to Nat King Cole, also will entertain audiences.

Food for thought: Those who like a variety of treats can sink their teeth into eats from more than 40 vendors. Food includes elephant ears, pork chop sandwiches, cream puffs and roasted corn.

Since its inception, the festival turned over $1.6 million to nonprofit organizations that have volunteered. Many nonprofit organizations will sell food. Vegetarians in Motion will provide veggie lovers with the No Bull Burger. Northern Illinois Skating Club will sell Cowpie samplers, which taste like another animal, Turtle chocolate candy.

New Wave Riders’ Jet Ski Exhibition and Competition will be featured. Watch in awe as “Fish Fear Our Name” will present aero-acrobatics and various stunts.

Frolic to two carnivals—one for those 10 and under and one for teenagers and adults. All rides cost $1 on Saturday, Sept. 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. prices vary at other times.

The carnivals, the food and the entertainment are integrated the small button. The button’s manhole cover logo is intended to showcase energy, vitality and rhythms that come from the streets of Rockford. The musical quarter note in the middle of the logo represents the main attraction of the festival.

The bottom half of the logo draws attention to the Rock River that runs through the center of the festival and that gives OTW its name. The above skyline on the logo is lined with stars that shine over the festival at night.

The theme, “Stomp,” exhibits students who will perform with items such as garbage cans and lids, pipes and metal.

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