ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It may not feel like it yet, but the Christmas season is nearly here. In Rockford, that means the return of a yearly tradition: Stroll on State.

Volunteers are already at work creating new decorations for this year’s event, which is held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, transforming downtown into a winter wonderland with a parade, fireworks, tree lighting, and an appearance from Santa.

“It happens because of volunteers and donors and supporters who contribute their time and their resources,” said John Groh, president and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is a free event. The entire event is free and open to the community and that’s always been important to us, from the perspective of the Visitor’s Bureau, wanting this to be a gift from our organization and community organizations to the community and also a really important way to kick off the holidays for our businesses and a way to invite visitors to our community to come and see what Rockford is all about.”

To become a volunteer, click here.