Shop the Blocks returns to downtown this Friday

Staff Report

Shop the Blocks – Downtown Rockford, a joint venture between the River District Association, The Element Rockford and The City of Rockford-Community and Economic Development returns this Friday from 3-9 p.m.

The second Shop the Blocks will take place on E. State St. from the river to 3rd St (and 1st St.).

Once again retailers and restaurants will bring their businesses outside to offer sidewalk sales and dining areas.

Additionally, a few select parking spaces on 1st St. and in parking lots near Bath and Body Fusion and Lucette will be turned into temporary interactive open-air parklets.

Parklets offer visitors a space to kick back and relax, connect with old friends and new, and even do something unique like play a game of bags.

Both Lucette and Rockford Art Deli will participate again with Lucette doing festival hair, ala Coachella or SXSW music festival, and Rockford Art Deli having mini putt, bike parking and a seating area.

Parklets can easily be disassembled and stored when not in use.

Other cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Nashville that have used this concept have found it to be very successful.

“Our first event on July 3 was a huge success. We met our goal of energizing E. State St/1st St. by giving people another reason to come to the River District,” said RDA Director Leah Tuneberg. “Our restaurants and retail shops were full of new and repeat customers and their reaction was very positive.”

“This is an excellent opportunity to support the businesses in the area while testing some of the tactical efforts of the Downtown Implementation Plan, we appreciate the opportunity to partner in these efforts,” stated Todd Cagnoni, Director of Community and Economic Development Department.

To learn more about the downtown plan you can visit rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/long-range-planning.aspx.

The third and final 2015 event of the series will occur on Friday, September 4 from 3-9 p.m.

The following partners have been working together to ensure these events are a success: The City of Rockford-Public Works, Vintage @501, Lucette Salon, Salvaged by Sonya, Wired Cafe, Art Deli, Bee’s Knees, Roni-State of the Art, Bath and Body Fusion, Yolo’s Bakery, Runner’s Image, Sienna’s Kitchen, 317 Studio & Gallery and the Olive Oil Experience.

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