Businesses Say No to Two-Day “Stroll on State” Event


The possible extension of Stroll on State, Rockford’s annual Downtown Christmas celebration, to make it a 2-day-long event, was a possibility.  Organizers say the two day celebration idea would be too much to logistically bear, but city leaders think it could be beneficial to local businesses.

“One thing remains, with Stroll on State: it’s immensely successful,” said Rockford First Ward Alderman, Tim Durkee.  “It’s a time when Rockford comes together.”

Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau [RACVB] Director of Destination Development Tana Vettore says the city and its residents won’t get an extra day of holiday cheer.

“Right now, for next year, it doesn’t appear that there is a high need for a second day,” said Vettore.

She reached out to vendors and downtown businesses to gauge their interest in a two day Stroll on State, but there wasn’t much.  Many believe the big crowds and necessary planning would be too overwhelming.

“We’ve had so many people tell us that please don’t add another day because its so magical,” said Vettore.  “We know when Stroll [on State] is going to happen, we plan for it and its magical because it happens in one day.”

Ald. Durkee believes an extra day will financially make up for the extra work vendors and businesses would have to put in.

“To expand the footprint or number of days, why not?” said Durkee.  “Maybe we increase the number of vendors and the variety of vendors.”

Vettore acknowledges that the impact that businesses see from the one day celebration are significant and long-lasting.

“It’s a one day event that brings results for them on an ongoing basis, all year long, which is wonderful,” said Vettore.  “That is one of our goals that we had.”

Organizers say they will expand the celebration.  The RACVB is considering creating a space for activities by the BMO Harris Bank Center.  They are also looking to have more floats and get more local high school marching bands to play.

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