I just got a note from our friend Leah Tuneberg, executive director of Rockford's River District Association (RDA), reminding me that today(Friday, August 5th) is another "Shop the Blocks" day in downtown Rockford.

For those who are unfamiliar, "Shop the Blocks" is 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.

If you're wondering, "What's a "parklet?"

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.

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.; N/S. Main St. from Green St. to W. Jefferson St. Additionally, temporary vendors will be located in front of Chase Bank on E. State.

Today's "Shop the Blocks" event is the 3rd of 4 opportunities to take part in this really fun event, with the final "Shop the Blocks" happening on Friday, September 2nd.

It all starts this afternoon at 3pm and goes until 8pm tonight, and the parklets scheduled for today include:

*Ground Floor Skateboard - Skateboarding in downtown Rockford never looked so good. Check out their skateboarding set-up in the alley between them and Capri. E. State St.
*Lucette Salon & Day Spa - come get your hair styled in their boho inspired parklet complete with boho braiding. Also henna and mini wellness rituals such as pressure point massage and aromatherapy.
*Rockford Art Deli – Outdoor deck with seating for you to chase your cares away. Plan to meet up with some friends here. Bicycle parking, too.
*Giant Game of Chess at Eddie Green Park - visit this parklet (North 1st St and E. State St) to play a life sized version of your favorite game. Plans are also in the works for speed tournaments and an instructor to teach the game. Sponsored by Urban Equity Properties and Associated Bank, Powered by The Element.

For more information, call the River District at 779-207-0110.