Stroll on State, one of the most anticipated events of the year in our community, comes back to downtown Rockford Saturday from 3-9 p.m.
With this guide from the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, you and our family will have the tools you need to make the experience a guaranteed great time. With lots to see and do and many people traveling from near and far to experience the magic of Stroll, be sure to make your list (and check it twice) to help prepare you for the most wonderful time of the year in the Rockford region.
And don’t forget to grab a copy of this week’s issue of The Rock River Times for a complete map and location guide to this year’s event.
1. Use the mobile app
Plan your whole Stroll on State experience by using the Plan Your Stroll mobile web application. Visit stroll.downtownrockford.org to see a map of the Stroll grounds, event and attraction descriptions and more. You can also sign up for text alerts to remind you when your favorite events are about to happen.
2. Ride a shuttle bus
If you don’t want to worry about parking downtown the night of Stroll on State, there are three shuttle buses you can take. Pick up a shuttle bus at the YMCA downtown (200 Y Blvd.), Heartland Community Church (1280 S. Alpine Rd.) or Illinois Bank & Trust (4048 E. State St.). Park at any one of those locations and a bus will bring you directly to the Stroll grounds.
3. Bring even the littlest family members
Stroll on State is perfect for the whole family, even the little ones. There are a couple indoor locations on site where nursing mothers can go or parents can visit to change diapers.
4. Gather for the Tree Lighting Ceremony
This is thee very moment when the community gathers together to officially kick off the holiday season with Rockford’s official tree lighting ceremony beginning at 6:15 p.m. The tree is located at the corner of State & Wyman Streets.
5. No cash? No problem!
Illinois Bank & Trust is providing ATMs at certain locations on the Stroll on State grounds for your convenience. You can find the ATMs between Wyman and Main St., the City Market Pavilion, near the Kringle Cafe and the 300 block of E. State St.
6. Stop by to see Santa
There’s not only one, but TWO SantaLands (brought to you by Rockford First) this year! One location is west of the river inside Stewart Square and the other is outdoors on the east side of the river by Millennium Fountain. No need to worry, Santa will work his Christmas magic and be at both locations, so be sure to get those Christmas lists ready.
7. Get social with us
Wondering how to share your favorite snaps, tweets and posts with the rest of the world? Simple. Use #strollonstate on your social media channels and pass the word on to your friends and fans! Follow the Go Rockford channels on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter all night long to get an inside view of the event.
8. Take a break and support local
Your favorite local area restaurants and shops will be open for business to serve you throughout the evening. This is a great way to break away from the cold all while eating delicious food and finding unique gift items.
9. ‘Twas the Night During Stroll
Rockford’s City Hall will be transformed into a magical Christmas headquarters! An interactive children’s story time (brought to you by Barnes & Nobel and GiGi’s Playhouse) experience will happen on the hour from 3-9 p.m. Relive the touching story of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with family and friends.
10. Pose, smile and click
Get this year’s Christmas card checked off your to-do list early by visiting ComEd’s Christmas card booth extravaganza, located inside Chase Bank There will be an interactive photo booth filled with Christmas props and lots of fun!
BONUS: Sky Lights Fireworks Show sponsored by Williams-Manny Insurance Group immediately follows the Tree Lighting Ceremony, which begins at 6:15 p.m. Arrive early to catch the parade and to claim your viewing spot.
For more information, visit strollonstate.com or check out what else is going on in the region this holiday season.