The 2018 holiday season officially begins in the Stateline next Saturday, (November 24), when Stroll On State takes over downtown Rockford.

Whether Stroll On State is a yearly tradition for your family, or this is the first year you will be taking part, these tips from gorockford.com will definitely make sure your strollin' experience is as Merry & Bright as possible:

  • Parking: Take a free shuttle to the event. Shuttle buses will run from 2 to 9:30 p.m. from three different locations; the downtown YMCA, Heartland Community Church, or Illinois Bank & Trust on E. State Street.  (Paratransit buses will be available at the YMCA location for those that need it).
  • Parade: Plan your spot early. The parade begins at 3 p.m. and will be even bigger and better this year. The parade route begins on S Main just past Green St. and will continue to State St., cross the bridge, and end at 3rd St. Stake your spot early, and don't forget to bring bags to hold on the candy you will be collecting!
  • Write to Santa: Make sure to stop by City Hall and have your kids write a letter to Santa using the paper provided, and drop it in the mailbox that goes directly to the North Pole. Don't forget to add your return address so your kids can get a response from Santa himself!
  • Bring the Littles: If you're worried about pushing a stroller through the masses or having the littlest of littles getting too cold, don't be. There's a designated area at  Nordlof Center where babies can be changed, nursed, calmed down, or take a break from the cold.
  • Tree Lighting: The official lighting of Rockford's tree will take place at 6 p.m. followed  by a fireworks show at 6:30 p.m. Here's the best tip of all; if claustrophobia is an issue for you, the tree lighting looks just as pretty down the street or across the bridge as it does right in front of it.

One last tip, don't  forget to come see Q98.5 at the Jingle Bell Stage located in the parking lot across from Veterans Memorial Hall. We'll have lots of great food vendors surrounding us, and we'll tell you how you could win a custom lit Christmas tree from Ambrose Christmas.

We can't wait to "stroll" with you soon!

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook