It's a great summer to be right here in the Forest City. Events, events, and yes...more events!

Just got a note from our friend Leah Tuneberg, director of the River District Association, with some details on "Shop the Blocks."

The River District Association (RDA) is proud to announce “Shop the Blocks – Shop, Dine, Play, Local”, a joint venture between the RDA, The Element Rockford, and The City of Rockford-Community and Economic Development to bring people downtown to shop, dine and play locally on three separate days this summer.

“Shop the Blocks” will kick off on Friday, July 3 from 3:00-9:00pm, on E. State St. from the river to 3rd St (and 1st St.) and visitors will quickly see a vibrancy and energy on our blocks.  Retailers and restaurants will bring their businesses outside to offer sidewalk sales and dining areas.  Additionally, a few select parking spaces (on 1st St. only) will be turned into temporary interactive open-air “parklets”.  Parklets will offer and encourage visitors a space to kick back and relax, connect with old friends and new, and even do something unique like play a game of bags, chess or checkers. Lucette will doing festival hair (ala Coachella or SXSW music festival and Salvaged by Sonya will offer an antique style seating area where visitors can relax. Parklets can easily be disassembled and stored when not in use.  Other cities, like San Francisco, Seattle and Nashville, that have used this concept have found it to be very success creating a contagious energy and downtown Rockford is embracing this idea. 

Leah points out that downtown businesses are eager to show off downtown to those who maybe haven't been down for a while.

“The River District Association is excited for this collaborative effort to kick off on July 3,” said RDA Director Leah Tuneberg. “We have worked hard with downtown businesses to customize three special events that will encourage people to walk the blocks while enjoying outdoor retailers, restaurants and interactive parklets. Our downtown is changing and growing and we are thrilled to show you all the wonderful things you can do.” 

If you can't make it downtown on Friday, there are two more opportunities to check out "Shop the Blocks." The remaining two events will occur on Saturday, August 8 and September 5 from 12:00pm-9:00pm.