Athletes from the region will meet at Harlem High School in Machesney Park on Saturday to compete in the Special Olympics Spring Games.
The public is welcome to attend the event and cheer on all the athletes.
Those competing Saturday are from Special Olympics Illinois Area 1 which consists of Boone, Stephenson, Carroll, De Kalb, Whitside, Winnebago, Jo Daviess, Lee and Ogle Counties.
Over 550 athletes will be taking part in 19 of the most popular Special Olympics Illinois sports.
The event begins at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony and is expected to conclude around 4 p.m.
Athletes will compete in the 50-, 100-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1500-meter runs, standing & running long jumps, shot put, tennis and softball throw, high jump, 400-meter, 800-meter and 2K walk races, wheelchair competitions and assisted races.
Athletes compete in divisions by gender and ability levels.
The Rockford Park District, The Blazer Foundation, Northern Illinois Parrot Heads and Alpine Kiwanis are sponsors for this event.
“We rely on volunteers to help run every aspect of Spring Games. But even more importantly, the athletes look forward to the friendship and encouragement they receive from the volunteers,” said Special Olympics Area Director Debbie Kelly about the Spring Games.
For more information about the Special Olympics Illinois, to volunteer or to provide financial support visit soill.org.