LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) – Unpredictable spring weather has caused waves for a local summer tradition.
Rockford Ski Broncs crowds were thin early in the season, when shows happened at all.
“It definitely makes it tough,” said Ski Broncs Show Director, Emily Peterson. “Not only does it hurt our team morale as a whole, because we want to be out there skiing and getting ready for the show, but it does push us back in getting prepared, so we can put the best show possible on for the crowd.”
The Ski Broncs normally perform shows every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This season has been different. Rock River flooding canceled two weeks of shows in June. Ski Broncs Show Director Emily Peterson says even when they were able to get on the river, rain still caused issues.
“We did have a lot of rain in June,” said Peterson. “Some of the shows we did, we actually skied in the rain, so that did deter people from coming to the shows.”
As the calendar flipped to July, though, the weather improved and, with the sun, came more spectators.
“Since we’ve hit July and we’ve got summer heat and summer weather back, we have typical crowd size back,” said Peterson.
A large crowd was on hand for Friday night’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ themed show. Peterson hopes the good weather continues, at least through Saturday. The Ski Broncs are hosting Flaunt It Illinois. It’s a women’s only swivel competition that the group is excited about.
“Oftentimes, tournaments revolve around jumping and barefooting, which are classically men-only events,” said Peterson. “So, this is a way to promote women in the sport and the skills that women perform out in the water.”