Some of the things to do this week include (clockwise from top life) attend the Black Winter gala, celebrate the life of Vickie Lynn at a show filled with music and comedy, attend a Rockford independent bookstore crawl or see “Hir” at West Side Show Room. (Staff and provided images)
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — Wrestling with what to do this week in the region?

You could see the stars of the WWE as the Road to Wrestlemania comes through the BMO Center in downtown. Or you can get tasty treats while supporting a good cause at the Chocoholic Frolic, celebrate Black excellence and raise money for scholarships at the Black Winter gala and see what’s new for spring at the Rockford Home Show.

Those are just a few of the options. You can see more on our events page.

Here are 14 ideas for things to do:

Get your sweets at the Chocoholic Frolic

A chocolate Crave Case from the 2021 Chocoholic Frolic is shown above. (Photo by Chelsea Meyer/Rock River Current)

The “sweetest day of the year” is back as the annual Chocoholic Frolic returns.

Get your chocolate crave case with more than 20 tasty treats from local businesses. You can get yours to-go for a $50 donation and pick it up on the day of the event, or pay $100 for the VIP in-person package. The in-person event also features dueling pianos, appetizers, an auction, drinks and more.

The event raises money for The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties, a nonprofit that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Quick facts: 

Where: Tebala Event Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Cherry Valley

When: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the VIP event; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. crave case pickup


More news: Early voting for the April 4 election begins Thursday

Shop at Rockford’s 5 independent book stores

The first Rockford Indie Bookstore Crawl is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. (Image provided by Dave Pedersen/Maze Books)

Five independent bookstores in Rockford will host a collaborative bookstore crawl with each store featuring its own sales, raffles and giveaways. Those who visit each of the five stores have the chance to win a grand prize.


  • The Book Stall, 1032 Crosby St., Rockford
  • Drewelow’s House of Books, 2233 Charles St. suite C, Rockford
  • Katie’s Cup, 502 Seventh St., Rockford
  • Maze Books, 117 S. Third St., Rockford
  • Toad Hall Books and Records, 2106 Broadway, Rockford

‘Hir’ continues at the West Side Show Room

The cast of “Hir” by Taylor Mac. From left: Christopher Palmer as Arnold, Axandra Smalley as Max, Carter Coryell as Isaac, Carolyn Cadigan as Paige. (Photo provided by West Side Show Room)

Hir,” which features a role written specifically for a transgender actor, debuts this week at The West Side Show Room.

The play, which is written by Taylor Mac, is a comedy about a suburban family in disarray. It starts as Isaac returns from serving with the Marines in Afghanistan to help his ailing father who suffered a stroke. He finds his mother, once a quiet homemaker, has now mercilessly taken over as the head of household and keeps her husband dressed in clown makeup and a drab nightgown. Meanwhile, Isaac learns that his sister Maxine is now his brother Max, who goes by the pronouns ze/hir. The latter is pronounced like “here.”

Quick facts: 

Where: The West Side Show Room, 1414 N. Main St., Rockford


  • 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 (free show) and Saturday, Feb. 25. 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 (talk back)
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2 (talk back), 8 p.m. Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4

Scope out a downtown Rockford wedding venue

The Market, which is the indoor Rockford City Market’s wedding and events venue, will host its 2023 Wedding Opening House with more than 25 wedding vendors, catering samples and a cash bar.

Quick facts: 

Where: Rockford City Market building, 116 N. Madison St., Rockford

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26

Admission: $7

Tickets: Buy tickets here

Celebrate Black excellence, fund scholarships

The Black Winter gala is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Rockford Art Museum. (Image provided by Friends of Black Winter)

The Black Winter gala celebrates the legacy and future of Black excellence in Rockford while raising money for scholarships for local Black students.

The formal event (black tie suggested) is presented in partnership by the Friends of Black Winter, a group of organizations and individuals who are working together to uplift the stories of local Black leaders and deepen the resources available to Black students to support their educational pursuits.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has pledged to match up to $50,000 in donations made to the six scholarships administered by the foundation. An additional scholarship fund is being launched by the 815 Chapter of Urban Intellectuals.

The event will feature live music from Chicago-based band Sam Thousand, custom cocktails and food from local Black-owned businesses, and an interactive program including displays heralding notable local Black leaders, philanthropists, educators and entrepreneurs.

Quick facts: 

Where: Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Admission: Tickets start at $75


The road to Wrestlemania goes through Rockford

The stars of the WWE including Ronda Rousey, Cody Rhodes, Charlotte Flair and Seth Rollins are coming to the BMO Center for the Road to Wrestlemania Supershow.

Where: BMO Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford

When: 4 p.m. doors open, 5 p.m. show begins on Sunday, Feb. 26


Celebrate the life of comedian Vickie Lynn

Vickie Lynn performs in 2019 at Town Hall in Loves Park. Lynn died Feb. 3, 2023, at age 47. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)

Vickie Lynn, a comedian, author and the creator of the Black Women in Business Expo, died Feb. 3 after an injury associated with a long-term health issue. She was 47.

An evening of comedy and music will be held in her honor this weekend at the Eclipse Center in Beloit, where Lynn had hosted the Black Women in Business Expo for four years before her death. This year’s expo was held in her honor.

The event is hosted by Christina Martinez and features music by DJ Acid and Harlan Jefferson. There will also be stand-up comedy by friends of Lynn, including Morris Brown, Marcos Lara, Cameron Harris, Vanessa Tortelano, Robert Luigi Parr, Dina Martinez and Kevin Haas.

There will also be food by C&J BBQ and Soul Food Catering, a 50/50 raffle and other raffle prizes with money raised going to help Lynn’s family.

Quick facts: 

Where: Eclipse Center, 3 Eclipse Center, Beloit, Wis.

When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Admission: $15 (benefits the family of Vickie Lynn)

See what’s new at the Rockford Home Show

The 42nd annual Rockford Home Show is a weekend-long event that allows you to shop for new home and garden products and services while taking in new ideas and concepts for your place.

This year also features Dan the Juggler as seen on “America’s Got Talent,” wildlife shows with Hoo Haven, building projects with Home Depot and other activities.

Quick facts: 

Where: Indoor Sports Center, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park

When: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24; 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Admission: $6 (free for children 12 and younger)

For more info:

Play mini-golf at the Cherry Valley library

Putt your way through the Cherry Valley Public Library with the 11th annual Mini-Golf in the Library and Silent Auction.

Reservations for tee times are encouraged, but drop-ins are also welcome to play the free course. You can also enjoy family-friendly entertainment, bid on a variety of gift baskets and other silent-auction items and taste refreshments available for purchase throughout the weekend.

Quick facts: 

Where: Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E. State St., Cherry Valley

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26


Discover engineering with local professionals

Dozens of professional engineers from local firms will set up shop at Discovery Center with hands-on engineering activities for children. Kids can engage in fun challenges, meet high school robotics teams and enjoy other science-related activities.

Quick facts: 

Where: Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford

When: 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Admission: $10; free for museum members and children younger than 1


Midweek laughs in downtown Rockford

Comedian Marcos Lara hosts this free stand-up comedy show starring Bobby Hill and Kevin Haas.

Quick facts:

Where: J&K Lounge, 505-507 E. State St., Rockford

When:  8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22

Info: Facebook event page here

Preserve your history at Community Scan Day

Do you have historic family photos, documents, letters, or other items that offer insight into Rockford area’s past? This Community Scan Day will help you preserve your documents and possibly contribute to the Rockford Public Library’s local history digital collection.

Staff will help you scan your historic photos, documents and other objects to be preserved digitally while you also keep the original.

Quick facts: 

Where: Rockford Public Library Hart Interim Library, 214 N. Church St., Rockford

When: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Info: Go here

Secure your spot: Email or call 815-987-6639

Learn the importance of being earnest

Oscar Wilde’s classic play “The Importance of Being Earnest” will be presented by the Rockford University Performing Arts starting Thursday through Sunday.

Quick facts: 

Where: Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center at Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday


See comedy at Pig Minds Brewing Co.

Comedian Jayson Acevedo, a Chicagoan who has performed across the world, headlines this night of comedy at Pig Minds Brewing Co. The show is hosted by AJ Leidig and features Tony Castro and Dana Norris.

Quick facts:

Where: Pig Minds Brewing Co., 4080 Steele Dr., Machesney Park

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Info: Facebook event page here

This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas.

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