By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The upcoming weekend will have three days off for many workers as we honor and mourn the men and women who sacrificed their lives serving the United States armed forces.
There are events to honor the fallen, and there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy around the Rockford region all week long.
From weekly affairs to one-time events, here are 17 things to do in the Rockford area this week and Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day Parade
When: Monday, May 29, starting at 9 a.m.
Route: The parade will step off at 9 a.m. north on Seventh Street to Charles Street, then go from Charles to State Street, west on State until turning north on Wyman Street. It will then proceed north to Beattie Park where the parade will end.
Program: The parade will conclude with a moment of silence followed by a Memorial Rose ceremony and the playing of Taps by Montford Point Marines, Beloit-Rockford Chapter No. 41 President Stanley Thompson (pictured above).
The annual Sinking of the Ship ceremony will follow, including a wreath presentation and 21-gun salute by the Rockford Detachment Marine Corp. League behind the Luther Center, 113 N. Wyman St., Rockford.
More news: New woman-owned business wants to brighten up Rockford with rare flowers and other plants
Have a bite at Food Truck Tuesdays
About: Choose from more than a dozen different food trucks set up along the scenic Sinnissippi Gardens outside Nicholas Conservatory. Food Truck Tuesdays runs all summer and early fall, ending Oct. 24.
Where: Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. Second St., Rockford
When: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 16
Shop the Edgebrook Farmers Market
About: The Edgebrook Farmers Market offers free-range meats, vegetables, fruits, flowers and plants, as well as dog treats, baked goods and a variety of other foods and merchandise. It runs Wednesdays through Oct. 25.
Where: Edgebrook shops, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday
Hear Hillbilly Rockstarz at Dinner on the Dock
About: Dinner on the Dock is an annual summertime tradition at Prairie Street Brewing Co. that brings in local musical acts and touring artists seen on “The Voice,” CMT and AMT Music Awards and “American Idol.” It runs Thursdays through Sept. 7.
This week country rock band Hillbilly Rockstarz takes the dockside stage.
Where: Prairie Street Brewing Co., 200 Prairie St., Rockford
When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday
See ‘The Man in the Brown Suit’
About: Artists’ Ensemble Theater brings this classic Agatha Christie mystery to life on stage. The play follows Anne Beddingfeld on her way from a tiny English village where she’s lived her whole life to South Africa, hot on the trail of a killer.
Where: Rockford University Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 4 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
Shop at Rockford City Market
About: Rockford City Market features music from Jerry Criss Band and The JB Project this week. The market features more than 60 vendors offering produce, baked goods, food, beer, clothing, handmade goods and other merchandise.
Where: Rockford City Market, 116 N. Madison St., Rockford
When: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday
Swarm the market by bike
About: Swarm the Market is casual, social bike ride around downtown on Fridays before Rockford City Market. I Bike Rockford, which organizes the get-together, assists with traffic and keeping the crew of riders together.
Where: Ingersol Centennial Park, 315 S. First St., Rockford
When: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 26
Info: Facebook event page here
True crime and paint night
About: The Pottery Lounge will host a true crime trivia and paint night with a total of six prizes given out.
Where: The Pottery Lounge, 6059 E. State St., Rockford
When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 26
How much: $10 tickets; pay for pottery at the event
Tickets: Go here
Shop the Winnebago farmers market
About: The Winnebago Farmers Market features locally grown fruits, vegetables, eggs, flowers, honey, baked goods and other merchandise.
Where: At the corner of Elida and Bluff streets next to the Winnebago Public Library
When: 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 26 (reoccurring through Oct. 27)
Info: Facebook page here
Shop the North End City Market
About: The North End City Market brings together an assortment of fresh veggies, fruits, flowers, honey, baked goods and more on Saturday mornings.
Where: Auburn and North Main streets, southeast of the roundabout.
When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Comedy in Machesney Park
About: Comedian Marz Timms headlines comedy night at Pig Minds Brewing Co. The show is hosted by Tony Lisowski and produced by Fats Productions Presents.
Where: Pig Minds Brewing Co., 4080 Steele Dr., Machesney Park
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 27
Info: Facebook event page
Miracle Mile cruise and car show
About: Miracle Mile Rockford will host a cruise on the track of the Rockford Speedway. You can also register to compete in the burnout contest. Then, a car show takes place outside Don Carter Lanes from noon to 4 p.m. with more than 75 trophies awarded.
Where: Rockford Speedway, 9572 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park; and Don Carter Lanes, 4007 E. State St., Rockford.
When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 27
Info: Facebook event page here
Table tennis championships
About: There will be 48 teams from 25 different countries participating in the two-day America’s Team Table Tennis Championship hosted by Everyone Loves Table Tennis. A Major League Table Tennis exhibition match will happen at 6 p.m. Saturday, and it’s free to watch. The tournament has hundreds of players ranging in age from 7 to 80.
Where: UW Health Sports Factory, 305 S. Madison St., Rockford
When: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Major League exhibition match at 6 p.m. Tournament play continues 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 28
Info: go here
Run to support veterans’ mental health
About: The Rockford Vet Center will host Who Gives a Ruck about Veteran Suicide, a 6-mile ruck march to raise awareness about veteran suicide and services provided by the vet center. Participants are encouraged to carry a 20-pound backpack, known as a ruck, to symbolize the 20 veterans who die by suicide each day. A 3-mile march without the ruck is also an option.
All proceeds will benefit the Veterans Drop-In Center in Rockford.
Where: Peak Sports Club, 4401 Peak Drive, Loves Park
When: 8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 28
More info: Go here
See Sleeping Beauty with a twist
About: Rockford Dance Company presents “The Sleeping Beauty,” a retro twist on a ballet classic. The show features guest artist Christopher Damle, who is a dancer with Madison Ballet, and has a cast of more than 50 dancers of all ages.
Where: Rockford University’s Maddox Theatre, 5050 E. State St., Rockford
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, May 27
Tickets: $20, or $15 for children 12 and younger
Info/tickets: Go here
Have fun on the farm
About: Lockwood Park’s season Fun on the Farm activities happen Saturdays through Oct. 28. There are a variety of activities including the tractor-drawn wagon ride, pony rides and children’s farm.
Where: Lockwood Park, 5201 Safford Road, Rockford
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Opening weekend at Hurricane Harbor
About: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Rockford, the former Magic Waters, opens for the season on Saturday. The 43-acre waterpark features an array of tube and body slides, a 1,200-foot lazy river, a large children’s play area and Tsunami Bay, which is Illinois’ largest wave pool.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Where: 7820 Cherryvale N. Blvd. in Cherry Valley
This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas.