For some, Wednesday will just be another day on the calendar. But for those living in the 815 area code, it’s a holiday to celebrate all the things that make the Rockford area a great place to live.
The third annual Rockford Day will be held Wednesday and the anticipation is building for the city-wide celebration. Events and activities are scheduled throughout the area, with local businesses offering special 815 Day deals.
“We wanted to do something different, so celebrate the day in a new way, so by opening up at 8:15 and just having a party, and then working through our One Million Cups stuff at 9, I think that’ll be a fun time,” said Jason Todd, the Managing Director of Thinker Ventures.
Thinker Ventures, at 317 W Jefferson Street, is just one of dozens of businesses taking part in the festivities.
Mayor Tom McNamara says the day will showcase all that Rockford has to offer.
“This is just a day to truly celebrate all those businesses in our community, truly celebrate the fantastic assets that we have throughout our city, and really take stock and take pride in a place that we all call home,” he said.
Each participating business will have an 815 Day sticker in the window. Rockford Day shirts are available online and at the Rockford Art Deli, at 402 E State Street, while supplies last.
“This year, I’m really excited,” Mayor McNamara continued. “I get to go down to Rockford Art Deli. I’ll be printing shirts and greeting guests and I’m just really excited to see all the people that come out.”
There’s no wrong way to celebrate 815 Day, held annually on August 15th.
“There is a lot of energy, and I think when we get that energy concentrated in a place, it can become infectious,” Mayor McNamara said.
“And it’s fun,” said Andrea Cook, Associate Director of Marketing Communications at the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (RACVB). “People can make it their own. They can do something small, they can do something large. It’s just to say, ‘You know what? I’m proud of my community and I’m happy to be here!'”
The celebrations aren’t limited to the downtown strip.
“There’s plenty to do in downtown, but venture off. Explore different areas, maybe to places you haven’t necessarily been to in a while,” Cook encourages. “Take a LimeBike, take a ride around the entire region and experience Rockford Day in all of it’s glory.”
The RACVB hopes the effects from Rockford Day are long lasting.
“We’re seeing this trend happen where events like this will kickstart folks to want to get more involved, and then we see that impact throughout the entire year,” Cook said.
Mayor McNamara will officially kick off 815 Day at Mary’s Market at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday.