The frigid cold didn’t stop the City of Rockford from getting into the holiday spirit on Tuesday.
Volunteers are transforming it into a winter wonderland for the annual Stroll on State celebration, which all started with the set up of the Rockford Christmas tree.
‘Twas the 13th of November and all through Winnebago, everyone was watching as they cut down a tree and transported to its new home in downtown Rockford, at the corner of West State Street, to help ring in the holiday season.
With the help of many community members, an annual Christmas celebrating for the Rockford community officially kicked off as the Rockford Christmas tree was harvested from a local family’s home in Winnebago.
“It’s like the kick-off to the holiday season, and it brings people together,” said Andrea Cook, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “That’s what it’s really all about.”
There are many numerous factors that go into the selection process for the 6th annual Stroll on State Christmas tree.
“We look at things like: how accessible is the tree? What is the condition of the tree and the size of the tree? It’s all important and came down to this tree,” said John Richards, the owner of TreeCare Enterprises, Inc.
The condition of the tree is important because, as John explained, many spruce trees are dealing with a needle cast disease, which causes them to show symptoms of discoloration and, in the end, death of the needles.
The Christmas tree plays a large roll in bringing the Stateline community together in celebration.
“Whether it’s in a living room, celebrating [around] a Christmas tree, or even in our downtown area, celebrating around a Christmas tree that, maybe, is actually to scale for [our] downtown area, that’s what’s important to us,” said Project First Rate Executive Director, Jake Castanza. “We love families coming down here, not only to celebrate an amazing event, Stroll on State, but also come and celebrate and have memories within the city of Rockford.”
Stroll on State takes place Saturday, November 24th. That’s when the tree lighting will take place.