The arts at work at On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront (OTW) kicks off with a new event today (Wednesday, Aug. 31).

Symphony Soiree, with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO), will be on the Miller Lite Great Lawn stage. You will be able to picnic on the grounds, and enjoy a fantastic performance in the beautiful surroundings.

For those seasoned Ravinia-goers, bring your finest picnic ware, and you stand a chance at fabulous prizes. Those who wish to make the evening hassle-free can purchase gourmet picnic boxes and fine wine. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the music will consist of light classics along the banks of the Rock River. Maestro Steven Larsen promises the crowd will recognize many of the pieces. Come early—gates open at 6 p.m., and tickets are available at the door.

Friday through Sunday (Sept. 2-4), imagine you are strolling the “Piazza Navona” in Roma, when in reality you are on the River District mall right in our own downtown. Thanks to Doc Slafkosky and Jerry Kortman of J.R. Center for Design for this cool idea! During OTW, local artists including Michael Stiffler, Hannah Sleger and others will be pleasing the crowds with portraits and caricatures. This is the perfect place to briefly escape from the crowd. The Rockford Area Arts Council is happy to sponsor the artists.

Admittedly, the following comments may not be relative to the arts at OTW, but I can’t resist. My two picks for Waterfront fun are Cheap Trick Thursday, Sept. 1 on the Great Lawn with Alice Cooper (perhaps we could consider him a performance artist), and Cheap Chicks, an all-girl Cheap Trick cover band taking the WTVO Oasis stage at 7:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2.

This festival has something for everyone. Many local musicians will be performing, and this is a great way to enjoy good food, great music and much more.

Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2005, issue

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