Music aficionados can shop Rockford’s expansive selection of independent local stores this month during the first-ever Rockford Record Crawl 2014, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25.
Organizers created the crawl to put Rockford on the map as a mecca for record lovers and lovers of all things music. The day will feature giveaways, in-store specials, food, entertainment and opportunities to interact with knowledgeable store owners and fellow music fans.
“We want to work together to show the community that supporting indie stores is key to the culture and arts of our area,” said Lauren Davis, co-owner of participating retailer Culture Shock Clothing & Records. “Sure, you can purchase anything online, and big-box stores try to compete, but there is a certain feeling you get from walking into an independent record store, talking with the owners, and hearing the needle drop on the track while previewing something in-store.
“It’s a feeling you can’t get online, and it’s a feeling that will stick around with the support of the local community,” Davis added.
Shoppers can peruse records, as well as eclectic boutique gifts such as housewares and clothing, at Culture Shock, 2239 Charles St. They can also explore thousands of records, books and other treasures at Rockford’s historic Toad Hall Books & Records, 2106 Broadway.
Scrumptious pie, sandwiches, coffee and other goodies await visitors while they shop for records at Kate’s Pie Shop & Record Store, inside the Rockford Public Library East Branch at 6685 E. State St. And shoppers can stock up on music, DVDs and used vinyl at CD Source, 221 E. State St.
Each store offers its own unique shopping experience. Rockford Record Crawl emphasizes collaboration over competition, said Nick Naruz, who, along with his parents, bought Toad Hall’s massive collection in 2005. The store celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013.
“Any of us give better customer service than online and big-box shopping. That’s our edge,” Naruz said. “That’s a huge part of the experience. None of us are exact copies of each other. The event is a good way to tour all the stores in town that offer music.”
The crawl falls between the popular Record Store Day, which takes place each year in April, and other big vinyl shopping times such as Black Friday and the holiday season.
CD Source will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. The store has moved locations a few times in recent years, so owner Brian Bowman said he hopes the crawl will introduce even more people to his shop.
Same goes for Kate Sullivan, owner of Kate’s Pie Shop. The shop relocated to space inside the library this summer and still participates in the popular Rockford City Market.
Sullivan plans to feature a special discount on her made-from-scratch pumpkin spice latte for fall-loving shoppers during the Rockford Record Crawl.
“When I’m in Chicago or Madison (Wisconsin), I hit several record stores. That’s the fun of it,” Sullivan said. “Each of us has a different spin, and we’re all in this together to create a community of record store enthusiasts.”
Rockford Record Crawl 2014 takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 25. Shoppers can pick up punch cards during their first stops just for showing up, with no purchase necessary.
Get your card punched at all four stores and enter it in a drawing for the chance to win a $100 combined first-place prize. Prizes also will be awarded for second- through fifth-place winners.
Live music is scheduled throughout the day with no cover. The schedule is as follows: noon, Toad Hall; 2 p.m., Culture Shock; and 7 p.m., Kate’s Pie Shop.
Call Lauren Davis at (815) 222-0756 for more about Rockford Record Crawl 2014.
From the Oct. 22-28, 2014, issue