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

Stanley Thompson
Marine veteran Stanley “Curly” Thompson, front right, will play taps as part of Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday. He and other veterans are pictured Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, to the honorary name change of a stretch of Alpine Road in Loves Park to Veterans Memorial Highway. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)

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

VeeDub’s Mobile Cocktail Bar sets up outside Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens as part of Food Truck Tuesdays. (Photo by Chelsea Meyer/Rock River Current)

About: Choose from more than a dozen different food trucks set up along the scenic Sinnissippi Gardens outside Nicholas ConservatoryFood 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

People walk through Rockford City Market on Friday, May 19, 2023, at State and Water streets in downtown Rockford. (Photo by Susan Moran/Special to Rock River Current)

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

Adelyn Keith, 4, of Rockford, chases bubbles on Friday, May 19, 2023, at Rockford City Market. (Photo by Susan Moran/Special to Rock River Current)

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

Comedian Marz Timms headlines on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at Pig Minds Brewing Co. in Machesney Park. (Photo provided by Fats Productions Presents)

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

Admission: Free

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

The UW Health Sports Factory is located at 305 S. Madison St. in downtown Rockford. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)

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

Hurricane Harbor Rockford, 7820 Cherryvale N. Blvd. in Cherry Valley, is 43-acre water park owned by the Rockford Park District and operated by Six Flags. (Photo provided by Six Flags)

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 or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas.

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