Shop the Blocks comes to downtown, Friday

The River District Association (RDA) and its partners announce the second in a four-event series “Shop the Blocks” downtown Rockford.

Launched through Rockford Community Partners as a joint venture between the RDA, The Element Rockford, The City of Rockford, and downtown businesses, Shop the Blocks started as a way to encourage people to stay a while longer by enjoying sidewalk sales, alfresco dining and parklets. This second event will be held Friday, 3-8 p.m.

This summer the footprint for Shop the Blocks includes E. State St. from 3rd St to Church St.; 1st St. from Market St. to E. State St.; Market St. from 1st St to Madison St.; and N/S. Main St. from Green St. to W. Jefferson St.

During the first event on June 3 visitors saw a vibrancy and energy on our downtown blocks. Businesses gave them a reason to stay a while longer.  Once again retailers and restaurants will bring their businesses outside to offer sidewalk sales and alfresco dining.  

“Shop the Blocks 2016 started off very well and businesses are excited to further invest in and be part of this downtown community,” said RDA Executive Director Leah Tuneberg. ““Our businesses were full of new and repeat customers and their reaction to the positive changes downtown we’re a testament to why we are doing this.”

A few select parking spaces will be turned into temporary interactive open-air “parklets”.  The basic parklet idea is simple: using a parking space to create a tiny park. The idea took root in San Francisco in 2005 and has extended to more than 1000 parklets in 160 cities in 35 countries. Parklets offer and encourage visitors a pace to kick back and relax, connect with old friends and new, and even do something unique like play a game of life-sized chess.

For more information, visit

–River District Association

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