After worries that rain would keep crowds away, the 7th Annual Stroll On State went off without missing a beat this afternoon. It started with a parade, with floats of all kinds out on display.
The event is a popular Christmas tradition for many families.
“This is the #2 Christmas tradition,” says Becky Harris. “I call actual Christmas Day #1 and this is #2.”
Harris and her family have attended Stroll On State all seven years that it has been put on. Each year, she makes sure they are decked out in matching hats for the occasion.
“(I’ve made) seven different hats. Different theme every year,” Harris said. “Snowman this year, Santa last year. I’ve crocheted hats, I’ve knitted hats. I started (making them) about a month ago and I finished the last one at 1:00 this morning.”
Ice skating, decorations, treats, and more help kick off the holiday season in Rockford.
Harris plans a family route so they can experience everything Stroll on State has to offer. Personally, she says her favorite part is visiting Santa Claus.
“Santa’s the best. We love this outdoor Santa. He’s just phenomenal over here,” Harris said.
Despite cold temperatures, people still packed downtown Rockford to get into the Christmas spirit.
Harris loves how the community comes together for the celebration.
“It’s a blast down here. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year,” she said. “I love how people are giving and caring and just the spirit of Christmas is just overwhelming during Stroll on State,” she said.
The weather did cause the festivities to end at 7:00pm rather than the normal time of 9:00pm.