Shop the Blocks returns to downtown Friday

Staff Report

The River District Association (RDA) is proud to announce the return of the popular “Shop the Blocks –Downtown Rockford”, a joint venture between the RDA, The Element Rockford and The City of Rockford-Community and Economic Development, to bring people downtown on Friday from 3-9 p.m.

The third “Shop the Blocks” will take place on E. State St. from the river to 3rd St (and 1st St.). During the first two events (Friday, July 3 and August 7, 2015), visitors saw a vibrancy and energy on our blocks that is new to the River District. 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) will be turned into temporary interactive open-air parklets. Parklets offer visitors a space to kick back and relax, mingle with friends and even play a game of bags.

“Our first two events were very successful. 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. We have many exciting things going on and this is just one way we are encouraging more people to come downtown.”

During this week’s Shop the Blocks Wired Café will have the Holsingers-Father/Son Music Duo in the alley from 6-8 p.m. (kitchen closes at 7 p.m.); Salvaged by Sonya will offer outdoor vintage seating; Rockford Art Deli will be having mini putt, bike parking and a seating area; Bee’s Knees will have the ever popular bean bag game; 317 Studio and Gallery will be doing an “Open Studio” evening – 6’x6’ canvas for $12; Bath and Body Fusion will offer kids a chance to create free bath bombs (inside if too humid); Yolo’s will be celebrating their anniversary with complimentary samples and refreshments from 5-7 p.m. and The Olive Oil Experience will have well-known magician Johnny Silver from 5-8 p.m., and Lucette will be doing festival hair.

“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

Friday will mark the third and final 2015 Shop the Blocks event.

River District Association (RDA) is a private, 501(c)3 not-for-profit, membership-based organization and is supported through membership dues, donations, sponsorships, grants, and fundraisers. The mission is to establish nurturing meaningful relationships to gain influence and authority for the betterment of the River District community.

THE ELEMENT – building a community of the creative spirit in the heart of Rockford for artists, entrepreneurs and professionals to live, work and play.

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