ROCKFORD – Several downtown streets will be closed to vehicles Wednesday for the city’s annual Independence Day parade that kicks off at 7 p.m., Wednesday.
The parade steps off at Seventh Street and Sixth Avenue with the traditional Motorcycle Parade at 6:50 p.m. Before the parade, the Rockford Fourth of July Committee will provide entertainment and refreshments at Davis Park from 5:00 p.m. until the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m.
Visitors are encouraged to visit the many downtown restaurants Wednesday. Market vendors will also offer food and beverages from their carts near East State and Water streets as well as musical entertainment near the Joe Marino statue.
As always, safety is a top priority and several street closures will be in place to ensure that the heavier than normal pedestrian traffic in the downtown area can be safely accommodated.
State, Chestnut and Morgan Street bridges will close for pedestrian traffic by 1 p.m. The Jefferson Street Bridge will only be open for vehicular traffic, not pedestrian traffic. South Main Street northbound is closed at Morgan St. north to Cedar St. at 1 p.m.
Rockford police will be directing traffic at all major intersections and will be present along the parade route and in the greater downtown area.
Attendees are encouraged to allow ample time for parking and walking to their viewing site. There will be no parking allowed in the 4th floor of the Church Street South Parking Deck located at 200 S. Church St. next to the BMO Harris Bank Center. All Cit-owned parking decks will be open to the public and free on July 4.
There are an additional 300 spaces in the UW Health Sports Factory parking lot at the south west corner of Madison and Walnut streets that will provide excellent fireworks viewing opportunities. Downtown visitors are reminded not to park in private lots where signs are posted as violators will be towed.
Attendees are advised that stopping to view the fireworks from the roadway, especially in and around the Whitman Street Bridge and the North Second Street overpass over Auburn Street and Spring Creek Road will not be allowed.
Rockford Police will be patrolling the areas to keep traffic moving and to ask that viewers to move to a safer,
more appropriate location.
At the conclusion of the fireworks, guests are asked to please be patient and to note that their departure routes may be different than how they originally arrived. Commuters are asked to drive with caution and obey all police directives for routing traffic. Traffic will be sent away from the city center to allow for smoother traffic operations.
All bridges will open immediately after pedestrian traffic is cleared, approximately 20 minutes after fireworks. R.