Rockford celebrates Independence Day June 28-July 4

• Parade begins at 5 p.m. at Seventh Street and Sixth Avenue, fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m., July 4

Staff Report

Rockford will celebrate the 236th anniversary of the July 4, 1776, adoption of the Declaration of Independence with a series of events running June 28-July 4.

Among the highlights of Rockford’s Fourth of July celebration is the largest fireworks show in the state of Illinois. More than 4,000 shells will light up the night sky over the Rock River beginning at 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 4. The show will last approximately 30 minutes, and is synchronized to music on radio B103 (103.1 FM) and televised on WTVO Channel 17.

The spectacular fireworks dazzle the audience with large, colorful, breathtaking displays that are computer fired to ensure precision and accuracy.

SkyConcert 2012 opens the gates in Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., in downtown Rockford, at 3 p.m. for preferred seating to view the fireworks. (No food, pets, coolers or sparklers allowed.) Admission is $6 for the north side of Davis Park, which includes entertainment by The Dirty Fishnet Stockings band. The south side of Davis Park will offer entertainment from the Charlie Daniels Band from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost for the Charlie Daniels Band is $20 to $50. Tickets can be ordered at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office, 300 Elm St., by phone at (815) 968-5222 or online at Fireworks can be viewed from either side of Davis Park.

The annual Fourth of July Parade kicks off at Seventh Street and Sixth Avenue at 5 p.m. The parade route travels from there down Seventh Street, then west on State Street, then west to Wyman Street, then south on Wyman to the railroad trestle on South Main Street, where it disbands.

Several food vendors are ready for business on the west side of the river along Wyman Street during this time.

Some of the parade participants have included the Rockford Police Color Guard, City of Rockford Pipe Band, Rockford Park District Police, Little Miss & Mr. Fourth of July winners and contestants, war veterans, Boys and Girls Club of Freeport, Rock River Valley Girl Scouts, Clan MacAlpine Pipes & Drums of Rockford, American Youth Soccer Organization and many others. This year’s Honorary Grand Marshal is Mimi Murphy, news anchor for WTVO Channel 17.

Following is the complete schedule of events for Rockford’s Fourth of July celebration. Visit for more information.

Thursday, June 28

7:30 p.m. — Rockford Park District Free Music in the Park at Sinnissippi Music Shell, featuring the Ac Rock, one of America’s great a cappella quartets.

Saturday, June 30

7:07 p.m. — Rockford Speedway: Stanley Steemer Star Spangled 76, Gilley’s Cool 5 Series Round II, Mobil 1 Mid-Season Championships, Late Models, Sportsmen, American Short Trackers, Road Runners, Flagpole Race, plus fireworks.

Tuesday, July 3

5 p.m. — Flag Retirement Ceremony sponsored by Wanchanagi District Boy Scouts of America & the Rockford Fourth of July Committee. Next to Symbol in Sinnissippi Gardens.

7:30 p.m. — Rockford Park District Free Music in the Park Concert at Sinnissippi Music Shell, featuring the Rockford Concert Band Patriotic Concert.

Wednesday, July 4

7 a.m. — MELD Classic 8k Run (7 a.m.), 2-Mile Run (7:05 a.m.), 1-Mile Fun Walk (8:30 a.m.). Begins on Madison Street under Jefferson Street bridge near the Trolley Station.

8:30 a.m. — Patriotic Breakfast sponsored by the Rockford Fourth of July Committee & Stone Eagle Tavern. Free continental breakfast to the first 1,000 people. Keynote speaker is State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford. Music Shell in Sinnissippi Park.

Noon — Meet Great Human Beings and get your picture taken. State and Main, Rockford.

3 — The Dirty Fishnet Stockings and Friends entertaining on the north side of the Lorden Building inside Davis Park, downtown Rockford. Join the fun with food and beverage available for purchase. Gates open at 3 p.m.

4:50 p.m. — Motorcycle Parade

5 p.m. — Rockford Fourth of July Parade. Televised on WTVO Channel 17. Featuring the new Rockford Drum & Bugle Corps in their first appearance. Parade kicks off at Seventh Street and Sixth Avenue at 5 p.m. and ends near Davis Park (see above for details).

7 p.m. — The Charlie Daniels Band on the south side of the Lorden Building inside Davis Park. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

9:30 p.m. — SkyConcert Fireworks Show begins. Synchronized to music over Davis Park in downtown Rockford. Davis Park offers the best view to see the incredible fireworks show. Bring your radio and lawn chair.

From the June 27-July 3, 2012, issue

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