ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — “Blues and BBQ” started as a way to bring officers and the community together, but years later, it has grown to mean so much more.

The annual festival in Settler’s Park, 200 Hawick St., was originally just a fun time for people in Rockton. It was the police department’s way of reaching out to those in the community. It is now not only that, but also serves as a fundraiser.

Part of the proceeds goes to the Jamie Cox Memorial Scholarship, as well as the Rockton Police Association Member Relief Fund, which will help out if there is any kind of tragedy in the area.

Organizers said that it is just another activity to bring officers and regular people closer together.

“Rockton in general is a huge police supporter,” said Alissa Sanchez of the Rockton Police Association. “It’s great to see everyone come out, all the children, and just to get involved with everyone here.”

Rockford’s SWAT Mobile was out for people to check out, in addition to kids activities like face painting and a bounce house. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office K9s also did a demonstration.