By Emily Sipiora
This Saturday the second annual Rockford MeltFest kicks off in downtown Rockford, marking the melting away of the winter and the subsequent melting together of the community.
At 8 a.m. registration for the 5K opens. Festival-goers are encouraged to participate in the 9:40 a.m. bike ride before the run’s start at 10 a.m.
Younger participants can opt for the children’s 1K run which begins at 10:45 a.m.
After the 5K, ice skating and trolley rides will feature from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Live music is an integral part of the festival. Starting at 12:30 p.m. The Defeated Royals will return to Rockford to play an early afternoon set at the Rockford Brewing Company. The Sterling-based act will stay on stage until 2:30 p.m. followed by sets from The Lone Canary, Reed and Waddy and Starlite Radio.
Appearances from local mascots such as Hammy the Hog are expected.
In much the same vain as the Rockford City Market, a local bazaar features during the MeltFest.
Kate’s Pie Shop, Javamania and Red Mango will be serving refreshments all day long, and the Rockford Brewing Company will be on hand to pour their craft beers.
Rockford Art Deli will be selling locally-made apparel and decor at the event.
Other vendors include Chai Town Tea, Cellar Door Designs and A Twisted Thread.
The festival closes at 5 p.m. Expected weather is around 50ºF, clear and sunny – a perfect first day of spring.
Participating businesses: Ads or Tails; Amberly Way; A Twisted Thread; Brittney’s Pet Grooming; CC Rainz; Cellar Door Designs; Chai Town Tea; Chiropractic First of Rockford; Designs by Julian; Fork Art Fibers; Fresh Start Animal Rescue; Gift it! Rockford; I Heart Signs; Jamberry Nails; JavaMania Coffee Roastery; Kate’s Pie Shop & Record Store; KEEP Collective; KokoBear Bakery; Lulu’s Roasted Corn; Matilda Jane clothing; Old Farm Products; Once Upon a Dream; Princess Performances by Katie; Red Mango; Rockford Art Deli; Rockford Brewing Company; Rocktown Adventures; Scentsy; Swimming Turtle Design; Tazo Gallery; Terra’s Popcorn; LLC; The Canine Crunchery; Inc.; The Carriage House on Cherry; The Vintage Beau; Trogg’s Hollow; True Laser; Usborne Books & More; West Rock Wake Park; Wind Ridge Herb Farm; Zammuto’s Drive In and Carry Out.