Green Light Nights party like no other

• Downtown festival provides family fun and entertainment

Staff Report

Green Light Nights will rock the streets of downtown Rockford again this year Saturday, July 14. The annual block party features five bands for $5 and will utilize the downtown festival site, closing State and Main streets. This year’s event takes on a family flavor with kids’ activities in addition to musical entertainment.

The night’s festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with music by Stendek. The event continues until 11:30 p.m., with an indoor party to follow at Kryptonite, located at the corner of State and Main streets.

Bands include the following:

Stendek — 5:30 p.m.: Phil Stendek is a self-described loop artist. He performs by recording samples of music while on stage, which he plays on a variety of instruments, and then playing them back as the accompaniment for his vocals and guitar work.

Matter of Fact — 6:45 p.m.: The reggae-rock band from Oregon, Ill., has performed in and around the Oregon area and as far away as Dubuque, Iowa, and Appleton, Wis.

School of Rock — 8 p.m.: Young musicians from Keith Country Day’s School of Rock show their talent.

Unity — 9 p.m.: This award-winning, reggae group is based in Appleton, Wis. They treat fans to old roots reggae favorites, along with original music blending influences of rock, roots, blues and reggae into their own unique sound.

Deals Gone Bad — 10 p.m.: With the chugging rhythms of Jamaica, the energy and emotion of American Motown, and the over-the-top pub/rock of the Pogues, Deals Gone Bad appeals to fans of both soul and Jamaican music.

In an effort to draw more families, the event will feature bounce houses, face painting, faux dreadlocks and henna tattoos. Kids younger than 10 will get in free.

This is the third year for Green Light Nights, which began as a way to showcase the renovation of downtown’s Main Street. “Green Light Nights has proved hugely successful. This is a great way to enjoy a summer evening and celebrate downtown Rockford. It’s the kind of entertainment both kids and adults can enjoy,” said event organizer and Kryptonite owner Chris Wachowiak.

Green Light Nights caps off an evening of events that include the fourth annual Gordon Ferguson Yackle’s .1 Run (from Octane to Kryptonite) Against Parkinson’s, and a giant Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. Registration for the run starts at 3:30 p.m. in front of Kryptonite. The two-minute run begins at 5:05 p.m., and the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament will immediately follow.

Green Light Nights is one of several events begun in the last three years, including Friday Night Flix and Rockford City Market, designed to help spur development in downtown Rockford.

An amazing transformation is taking place in downtown Rockford and Green Light Nights is part of that change,” said RACVB President/CEO John Groh. “Each time we have a successful event like this downtown, it brings people into the heart of the community and creates a vibrant atmosphere. This brings about real change to our community and makes us more attractive to both locals and visitors.”

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, nonprofit organization that champions efforts to promote and further develop the Rockford region as an overnight visitor destination. RACVB generates positive economic impact for the community through investments in tourism marketing, sales, promotion and advocacy. Visit

From the July 11-17, 2012, issue

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