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 SEVENTH year! The event gets bigger and better each year. This event is FREE to attend!
Stroll on State 2019 is Saturday, November 30th from 2 pm – 9 pm.
New in 2019
Stroll on State organizers are working hard to make the event more magical every year. This year’s new features include:
- Parade starts at 2 pm. There are more attractions on this year’s parade and a start time from Chestnut Street at 2 pm. Find your spot at 1 pm. There will be eight large-scale balloons including Buddy the Dinosaur and Butterscotch the Elf, life music, DJs and more.
- New Strollville attraction will include real elf houses that kids can play in, photo ops, and Elf parade balloon. There will also be Santa’s reindeer there. This will be located east of BMO Harris Bank Center.
- Main Stage moved to Wyman and State St. Santa at 5:45 pm and countdown to tree lighting at 6:15 pm.
- Fireworks launching from Davis Park. You will not be able to enter Davis Park.
- Third stage for live performances added in front of Chase Bank.
- River lights moved to underneath the Jefferson Street Bridge.
- Expanded Frosty’s Merry Market with more vendors.
Dasher Dash 5K Run / Walk
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 1500 people who register before November 17th. Kids 12 and under can participate for $20. Sign up here!
Stroll on State Attractions and Activities
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.
- Frosty’s Merry Market (food, beverages & shopping)
- Rockford’s River Lights
- SantaLand (indoor and outdoor locations)
- Strollville with elf houses for kids to play in
- 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)
Stroll on State Events
Plan your day around these great events so you don’t miss any of the Stroll on State fun.
- 8:00 am – Dasher Dash 5K run
- 2:00 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)
- 5:45 pm – City of Rockford Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
- 6:15 pm – Sky Lights Fireworks Show
Stroll on State Live Performances
Catch a live music or theater performance on three outdoor stages and two indoor stages while you’re strolling!
- Starlight Theater will present A Christmas Story at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm
- Once Upon a Dream Performances meet and greet from 3 pm – 9 pm
- The Studio Rockford will perform Newsies
More performances will be announced soon!
Stroll on State Vendors
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
- Baker Street Burgers
- Bar None
- BSA Troop 23
- Cake Shoes by Maya
- Churros Y Chocolate Inc.
- Cookies by Design
- Deb’s Daily Grind
- Disco Chicken Food Truck
- District Bar & Grill
- Downtown Fancy Franks
- Festa Italiana
- Gretta’s Goats
- Happy Stix
- Hermes Popcorn
- Hyde and Chic MKE
- La Esmeralda Jewelry Inc.
- Lucha Cantina
- Lulu’s Roasted Corn
- Mamma Mia’s
- Mario’s Taco Express
- Nothing Bundt Cakes
- Olivo Taco
- OpenDoor Coffee LLC
- Perfectly Seasoned Catering
- Pet Wants Rockford
- Pewter Dragonfly
- Pierogi Squad
- Pino’s on Main
- Pizza on Earth
- Rawdawg Urban
- Rockford Woodcrafts
- Roosevelt Community Education Center
- Rucci’s Cinnamon Roasted Nuts
- Sausage Fest Food Truck
- Savor BBQ Co.
- Soap of the Earth
- Stix and Noodles
- Sweet T’s Kettle Corn
- Synergy Collective
- The Bell Churros
- The Candy Cloud Company
- The Cheese Market
- The Olive Branch
- Veebo’s Pizza
- Witches in Stitches
- Wok n Roll by Bamboo
- Wonderland Sweets
- You’re Bacon Me Crazy
Stroll on State Parking and Transportation
Downtown Rockford gets pretty busy during Stroll on State. Last year there were over 87,500 attendees. Here where you can find parking.
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 deal with parking, you can take a shuttle bus. The first shuttle will leave at 1 pm and the last shuttle will be at 9:30 pm.
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