ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s Christmas celebration, Stroll on State, will return this holiday season, and it’s expected to be bigger and better than ever.
Santa Claus was on hand in downtown Rockford on Thursday for an announcement of what’s new this year.
This year, the festivities will start earlier, at 2 p.m, with the Stroll on State Holiday Parade. The parade will begin at S. Main Street and Chestnut Streets.
Kids will be able to check out Strollville, with interactive elf houses and reindeer from Santa’s Village.
The Main Stage will be moving to the southwest corner of Wyman and State Streets, and Santa will appear at 5:45 p.m. to count down to the tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.
A third stage, the Sleigh Bell stage (in addition to the Main Stage and the Jingle Bell stage), will be located in front of Chase Bank on E. State Street.
There will also be a new light show under the Jefferson Street Bridge, and music and dancing in the street.
Frosty’s Merry Market has been expanded to two locations: the Rockford City Market Pavilion at the corner of E. State and Water Streets, and the parking lot at the corner of West State and Wyman Streets.
A performance of “A Christmas Story” will take place at 4:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hall, and “Newsies” at the Nordloff Center.
Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO John Groh said, “We believe that seven hours, those seven hours that Stroll on State takes place, matters to the community, matters to the business owners downtown. It matters for the folks who come, the memories that are made, the holiday traditions that are formed.”
Stroll on State takes place downtown on either side of the E. State Street bridge on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, which will be November 30th this year.
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