Stroll on State is held the weekend after Thanksgiving each year in downtown Rockford, IL. It is an awesome way to celebrate the city, its people, and the upcoming holiday season. You can get some holiday gift buying done, enjoy food and drinks from local vendors, listen to live music, go ice skating, watch the tree lighting and fireworks, see Santa Claus, and more. Come downtown to experience the magic of the holidays this year! This is Stroll on State’s SIXTH year! The event gets bigger and better each year. This event is FREE to attend!

Stroll on State 2018 is November 24th from 2 pm – 9 pm.

New in 2018

Stroll on State organizers are working hard to make the event more magical every year. This year’s new features include:

  • Additional balloons in the parade. Up to 8 new character balloons including Scooby Doo, Bugs Bunny, and Snoopy.
  • TUBACHRISTMAS performance. The group will play Christmas carols and other songs near the PNC plaza.
  • Social media shares. Use #strollonstate to get your adorable photos on the large screens during the event and on the website.

Dasher Dash 5K Run / Walk

Image credit: Stroll on State Facebook page

The day starts off with Dasher Dash, a 5K run through historic downtown Rockford. The course crosses four bridges and the grounds of Tinker Swiss Cottage. The race concludes on Grove Street where runners and walkers will receive medals, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. The race costs $35 to enter and includes a t-shirt and swag bag for the first 1200 people. Kids 12 and under can participate for $20. Sign up here!

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Stroll on State Attractions and Activities

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There are a ton of things happening from 2 pm – 9 pm downtown! This includes wagon rides, live music, ice skating, smores, shopping and more. All of the activities are free unless noted otherwise.

Attractions include:

  • Frosty’s Merry Market (food, beverages & shopping)
  • Rockford’s River Lights
  • SantaLand (indoor and outdoor locations)
  • Horse and wagon rides (2 locations)
  • Rudolph’s Reindeer Village
  • Hot Chocolate Express (2 locations)
  • Indoor ice skating at Riverview Ice House
  • Grinch’s MovieLand playing How the Grinch Stole Christmas all night with appearances by the Grinch!
  • Stroll Special Moments photo booth
  • Letters to Santa
  • Adult beverage stations & Kringle Kafes (3 locations)
  • S’Mores (3 locations)
  • Stroll on State merchandise sales (2 locations)
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Download a PDF of the Stroll on State map here.

Stroll on State Events

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Plan your day around these great events so you don’t miss any of the Stroll on State fun.

Events include:

  • 8:00 am – Dasher Dash 5K run
  • 3:00 pm – Stroll on State’s Merry & Bright Holiday Parade
  • 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Randy Finch Ice Brigades live ice sculpting
  • 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, and 7:30 pm – Fire & Ice displays (2 locations)
  • 6:00 pm – City of Rockford Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • 6:30 pm – Sky Lights Fireworks Show

Stroll on State Live Performances

Image credit: Stroll on State Facebook page

Catch a live music or theater performance while you’re there!

  • TUBACHRISTMAS will be performing Christmas carols and other music near the PNC Plaza
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas performed by RVC’s Starlight Theatre
  • Charlotte’s Web performed by GiGi’s Playhouse and Gateway Performing Arts Studio
  • Mary Poppins performed by The Studio Rockford

Stroll on State Vendors

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Try something new or enjoy an old favorite! New vendors will be added up until the event. Vendors will be located at Frosty’s Merry Market in both the Rockford City Market pavilion and the parking lot at the corner of North Main and Mulberry Streets (across from Rockford Roasters, The Nordlof Center, and Octane).

Current list of vendors includes:

  • 15th & Chris
  • Amanda Flock Food Truck
  • Baker Street Burgers
  • Bar None
  • BearMoon Soap
  • BSA Troop 23
  • By the Dozen Bakery
  • The Candle Kiln
  • The Cheese Market
  • Cookies by Design
  • District Bar & Grill
  • Downtown Fancy Franks
  • Evelyn’s Acre
  • Franchesco’s Ristorante
  • Frybabies
  • Hermes Popcorn
  • Hey Brothers
  • Just Craftin’ Around by Jen
  • La Fiesta Candies
  • La Paloma Garden Designs
  • Lucha Cantina
  • Lulu’s Roasted Corn
  • Mamma Mia’s
  • Mario’s Taco Express
  • Mary’s Market
  • Mohop
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • The Olive Branch Greek Food Truck
  • Past Thymes Market
  • Pet Wants Rockford
  • The Pewter Dragonfly, LLC
  • Pino’s on Main Pizza
  • Pizza on Earth
  • Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity
  • Rockford Woodcrafts
  • Roosevelt Community Education Center
  • Rucci’s Cinnamon Roasted Nuts
  • Soap of the Earth
  • Sweet T’s Kettle Corn
  • Vineyard Books & Gifts
  • Why Envy Boutique
  • Witches in Stitches
  • Wok n Roll by Bamboo

Stroll on State Parking and Transportation

Downtown Rockford gets pretty busy during Stroll on State. Last year there were over 80,000 attendees. Here where you can find parking.

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Parking in the red lots is recommended. The cost is $5 per car.

There are also free lots and free street parking, please note the posted rules.

If you’d rather not mess with parking, you can take a shuttle bus.

Shuttle bus locations:

  • Illinois Bank & Trust at 4048 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108
  • Heartland Community Church at 1280 S. Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61108
  • YMCA at 200 Y Blvd., Rockford, IL 61107

Stroll on State is an incredible event that makes us proud to call Rockford our home! We hope to see you there.

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