The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) Thursday announced improved attendance numbers for sites, attractions and events in Winnebago County in 2015.
The region’s tourism attractions and events welcomed 7,662,205 guests in 2015 RACVB said, up 57,627 people from the 7,604,578 guests in 2014.
Individual event attendance in the region grew by 21,216 to a total of 950,058, growth RACVB says is in part due to Rockford AirFest, Winnebago County Fair, Stroll on State, Festival of Lights and Old Settlers Days all seeing an increase in numbers.
“Each year, we see that more and more people are experiencing the Rockford region,” said Josh Albrecht, RACVB Director of Marketing & Public Affairs. “What is really amazing is that our overall attendance numbers are able to rise even as circumstances such as bad weather can affect attendance levels.”
Rockford area sites and attractions saw strong numbers as well in 2015. Anderson Japanese Gardens set an attendance record with 49,272 guests and the Ski Broncs Waterski Show Team performances saw a substantial increase from 28,874 in 2014 to 56,275 in 2015.
“The quality of our sites and attractions is such an amazing calling card for our region,” Albrecht added. “The fact that Anderson Japanese Gardens, Ski Broncs, Burpee Museum of Natural History and Midway Village Museum all improved on their attendance numbers shows that leisure travelers are looking to Rockford more and more.”
RACVB said that with the addition of the UW Health Sports Factory downtown and the recent Tough Mudder event that drew 15,000 visitors that they expect the numbers to grow again next year.
Top 10 events in the Rockford Region (2015 vs. 2014)
|Fourth of July Celebration||125,000||125,000|
|Winnebago County Fair||95,000||93,000|
|Stroll on State||66,000||60,000|
|Festival of Lights||58,000||45,000|
|Young at Heart Festival||30,000||30,000|
|Old Settlers Days||29,500||16,977|
|Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition||28,000||35,000|
|Pec Thing – Spring and Fall||24,000||24,000|
|Rockford Home Show – Showtime Productions||23,000||24,500|
Top 10 attractions in the Rockford Region (2015 vs. 2014)
|Sportscore Complexes / Indoor Sports Center||2,878,847||2,867,173|
|Rock Cut State Park||1,076,346||1,059,183|
|Ice Facilities – Carlson & Riverview||491,815||477,590|
|BMO Harris Bank Center (includes IceHogs)||289,837||292,210|
|Forest Hills Baseball Diamonds||200,000||280,000|
|Rockford Park District Golf Courses (combined)||187,006||188,528|
|Magic Waters Waterpark||186,331||170,021|
|Discovery Center Museum||181,961||169,328|
|Lockwood Park Equestrian Centre||135,200||133,720|