The second to last weekend in July offers a variety of family fun and adult fun activities in the Rockford area, including the area’s largest food truck festival.
Here are 30 things to do this weekend:
Rockford Chow Down Food Truck Festival
What: More than 20 food stands and trucks from the tri-state area plus more than 25 crafters, artists and vendors are participating in this festival. This is Rockford’s largest foodie festival. Enjoy two days of drinks, food and art plus live entertainment on Rockford’s Miracle Mile.
When: 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23
Where: The old Magna parking lot, 3915 E. State St., Rockford
Cost: $5 admission
For more: 815-209-3017
More:New Rockford food truck takes grilled cheese sandwiches to next level
Brews on First Beer Fest: The ReBrew
What: Sample 50-70 craft beers over four hours at the ballpark. There will be various games on the field you can play while sampling the beers. Admission includes beer samplings. Food and mixed drinks sold separately. For ages 21 and older.
When: 5 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Rockford Rivets Stadium, 4503 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park
For more: 815-240-4159
Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days
What: Fee includes choice of brats, Johnsonville hot dogs, veggie-vegan bratwurst or veggie BBQ plus Mrs. Fisher’s potato chips and a Pepsi product or water. Drive-thru, walk-up or dine at the location. At both sites, you can enjoy your meal with live entertainment. All proceeds from Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days are given directly to local nonprofits and area youth for scholarships. Preorders: For orders of 25 or more, call 779-348-0882.
When: 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. Friday, July 21 and 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Blaine’s Farm & Fleet, 7300 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park and U-Haul at E. State Street and Mulford Road, Rockford
Cost: $8; $7 with advance ticket by July 20
For more: Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days – Rockford on Facebook
Overdrive Monster Truck Tour
What: Overdrive Monster Truck Tour events feature more than two hours of non-stop action for all ages, featuring world famous and championship-winning Monster Trucks as seen on TV, freestyle motor cross and more. There will be food concession stands on site. Loud noise, exhaust fumes, flying dirt, dust and small pieces of rubber or metal could become airborne during the event.
When: 12:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. First St., Pecatonica
Cost: $10 to $60
For more: https://www.overdrivemonstertrucks.com/
Music in the Park
What: Enjoy beautiful summer evenings in the Sinnissippi Park Music Shell. The July 20 performer is the Blooze Brothers. The 11-piece Chicago-based Blooze Brothers Band featuring Sheila Jones promises a soulful revue, with music, song, and crazy antics. Concessions are available; no outside alcohol permitted.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 20
Where: Sinnissippi Band Shell, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford
Cost: $5; free for children age 5 and younger. Prime concert tickets with VIP available for $25.
For more: https://rockfordparkdistrict.org/soundsofsummer
Dinner on the Dock
What: Enjoy dinner, drinks and live music on the dock. July 20 performer is Cabanarama. Enjoy the best of Trop Rock, from Jimmy Buffet to Bob Marley, and the jams of Zac Brown & Kenney Chesney, as this band covers it all.
When: 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 20 (music from 6-10 p.m.)
Where: Prairie Street Brewing Co., 200 Prairie St., Rockford
Cost: Free admission
For more: 815-277-942
What: Holly Near has been singing for a more equitable world for more than 40 years. She is an insightful storyteller through her music, committed to keeping the work rooted in contemporary activism. Respected around the world for her music and activism, Holly released her 31st album in 2018. One of the most powerful, consistent, and outspoken singers of our time, her concerts elevate spirits and inspire activism.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 20 (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St., Rockford
Cost: $25; advance tickets required
For more: 815-398-6322
Bands, Brews & Food Trucks
What: Come for live music, food and beverages and lots of fun on our outdoor patio every Thursday night from June 1 through September 7. The musical guest on July 20th will be singer, songwriter, guitarist, storyteller, traveler and road warrior, Scott Kirby. Food service starts at 5 p.m.; live music begins at 6:30 p.m.
When: 5 p.m. Thursday, July 20
Where: TimberPointe Golf Club, 5750 Woodstock Road, Poplar Grove
Cost: Free admission
For more: 815-544-1935
Moon Dog Theatre Presents ‘Red’ by John Logan
What: Red is a two-handed play by American writer John Logan about artist Mark Rothko. David Weber and Phillip Fox star in this production directed by Nicholas Barelli.
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 20 and 21 and July 27 and 28.
Where: RPL Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford
For more: https://moon-dog-theatre.square.site
Community Superheroes to the Rescue
What: Wear your favorite superhero costume and join a gathering of community superheroes. Meet real emergency first responders and explore the science our community heroes use every day. Learn about fingerprinting, use microscopes like a forensic scientist and explore fire science in live demonstrations. Unless it gets called for an emergency, you can even get up close to the Mercyhealth REACT helicopter in the parking lot.
When: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, July 21
Where: Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford
Cost: $10; free for members or children age 1 and younger
For more: 815-963-6769
Rockford City Market
What: There will be more than 60 local vendors with fresh produce, baked goods, handmade items, jewelry, cheese, honey, and more underneath the pavilion. There will also be food trucks, local breweries, and rotating kid’s activities. Live music July 21 is The Lone Canary and Andrew Robinson.
When: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 21
Where: East State and Water Streets, downtown Rockford
Cost: Free admission
For more: http://www.rockfordcitymarket.com/
More:Fresh produce, artwork, flowers and more: Check out these 11 Rockford-area farmers markets
Music on the Mall
What: Enjoy live music outside. Food and drinks from Lucha Cantina and Cork, Keg & Spirits will be available. The July 21 performer is River Road Trio, a suburban Chicago country band. You’re encouraged to bring your own chair.
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 21
Where: Edgebrook center court, 1643 N. Alpine Road, Rockford
For more: 815-398-8957
The Studio’s Production of The Music Man
What: Meredith Willson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy is a family-friendly story to be shared with every generation. The Music Man follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.
When: 7 p.m. Friday, July 21; 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, July 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 23
Where: Rockford University Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford
Cost: $15; $13 for seniors aged 55 or older and children aged 12 and younger; save $2 with advance tickets
For more: 815-904-4252
Back the Blue
What: A 100-mile escorted ride through Winnebago and Ogle counties. Meet up at 10 a.m., kickstands up at 11 a.m. Return to Crazy Times at 4 p.m. Details of stop locations and route to be provided on arrival prior to the start of the event. Rally will end at Crazy Times for some food, camaraderie and live music by The Stevee Nix.
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Crazy Times Pub & Grub, 1520 Glen Forest Drive, Machesney Park
Cost: Ride is free
For more: 815-636-8747
Pop-Up in the Parks Vendor Event
What: This family-friendly summer vendor event will feature food trucks, music and several vendors to shop.
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: 6780 N. Second St., Loves Park
For more: Pop-Up in the Parks Vendor Event on Facebook
Dueling Piano Show
What: Come for an evening of Dueling Pianos with a musical performance by “Felix and Fingers.” The performance starts at 7 p.m., but you can come earlier. Food will be available for purchase at two different stations before the show. This adults-only show will be on the outdoor patio.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Timber Pointe, 5750 Woodstock Road, Poplar Grove
Cost: For more: $25; $20 in advance includes one complimentary drink
For more: www.golfthepointe.com/events/registration
The Hope & Anchor Comedy Night
What: Headliner Charlie Kojis combines his life experiences and general fears, blending traditional joke telling with his own personal narrative. His dry delivery leaves audiences both laughing and wondering if he is as okay as he pretends to be. Based in Madison, Wis.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Hope & Anchor, 5040 N. Second St., Loves Park
Cost: $10 cover will be added to table check
For more: 815-633-2552
Christmas in July Fundraiser
What: Come support the annual Christmas in July – Christmas for Kids Fundraiser. There will be a luau party on the patio with food, drinks, music while raising money for the bar’s favorite charity, Christmas for Kids. There will live music, raffles and more. The money raised is used to take children from the Harlem School District shopping for Christmas presents. The bar is looking for donations of all kinds. These can be dropped off at Rascal’s at any time.
When: Noon Saturday, July 22
Where: Rascals Bar & Grill, 5223 Torque Road, Loves Park
For more: 815-636-9207
’80s Night: Couple’s Nine & Dine Golf Event
What: Grab your group of friends to enjoy a relaxing evening full of golf, food, prizes and 1980s music. This will be played in a scramble format. Limited number of tickets available. Registration and cocktails from 4:30-5:30 p.m., with shotgun start at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy food, drinks and music after golfing.
When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: The Ledges Golf Course, 7111 McCurry Road, Roscoe
Cost: $110 per foursome; please sign up in groups of 4 players. Tickets include golf, food and prizes.
For more: 815-389-0979
Family Creek Day
What: All are welcome to investigate our waterways, find out how we can be good stewards of our watershed, and splash in Turtle Creek. Wading in the creek is optional but encouraged. Closed-toed shoes that can get wet are required. This event is best suited for ages 5 and older, as well as adults who enjoy creek exploration. Turtle Creek has a fairly flat, rocky bottom that ranges from one to four feet deep, and a mild current. Please register in advance.
When: 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 22
Where: Nature at the Confluence, 306 Dickop St., South Beloit
For more: 815-200-6910
The Little Man in Black — Johnny Cash Tribute with Doug Stiver
What: Doug and his band will perform solid country music. His “Little Man in Black” program showcases Johnny Cash’s music, plus cameo favorites that Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Don Williams and others made famous. Attendance is limited to 150.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Spring Creek Church, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford
Cost: Free; donations accepted
For more: 815-979-1949
The Paradox of Time
What: Ars Publica is a new forum of literary and public art performances exploring theories, speculations, and inventions. Every month they dig into a new subject. This month features visual artists Roni Golan and Eamonn Talkington, musician Jeffrey Ryan, and poet and musician, Jim Roberts. You will explore “The Future of Art in the Age of A.I” Each artist will present their perspective on this topic, through their own medium.
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: The Underground, 418 E. State St., Rockford
For more: 815- 979-1944
Subversive Slow Roll
What: This ride usually goes into the night, so bring your lights. Bring water to stay hydrated. Roughly a 7-to-10-mile ride at a 6-7 mph pace. No one gets dropped, and we stay as a group for safety in traffic. All are welcome for this social event.
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Subversive Cycling Company, 327 W. Jefferson St., Rockford
For more: 815-708-7399
Wellness in the Park
What: There will be face painting, food, music, demonstrations of services, bounce house, DJ and giveaways.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 22
Where: Circle of Wellness, 1820 Windsor Road, Loves Park
Cost: Free admission; products and services available for purchase
For more: 779-423-1700
What: Kids are free on Kids Night. Splashtastic Pool Jump plus Sportsmen, Short Trackers, Road Runners, Bandits, High School Racing, Super Stox and Powder Puff.
When: Saturday, July 22
Where: Rockford Speedway, 9572 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park
For more: rockfordspeedway.com
6th Annual Soul in the Park
What: There will be activities for kids including a bouncy house, face painting, cartoon characters and soul food truck vendors. Starring the Chicago Band Vibe Music Live and hosted by Chicago queen of comedy, Tara Terry.
When: 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 23
Where: Blackhawk Park, 101-15th Ave., Rockford
For more: Soul in the Park on Facebook
Culture Shock Live in Store Performance with Derek Luttrell & The Texas Chainstore Managers
What: Usually we are closed on Sundays, but Culture Shock will be open from noon to 5 p.m. for all your shopping needs. Check out the store, then hang out to listen to Rockford’s Derek Luttrell & The Texas Chainstore Managers. The band starts at 4 p.m. For all ages.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday, July 23
Where: Culture Shock, 2239 Charles St., Rockford
Cost: Free; donations encouraged. 100% of donations collected will go to the band.
For more: 815-229-2997
Pop-Up Hat Bar
What: The winery will be bringing all of its colorful hats and fun accessories for you to customize your one-of-a-kind rancher hat. Accessories include feathers, pins, studs, ribbon and charms. If you would like to make a custom hat with one of their stylists, you can book a 30-minute appointment through the booking link. The booking fee is $20 to reserve your spot; that $20 will be applied to the final price of your hat. The Iron Salamander will be joining to serve up their menu.
When: 11 a.m. Sunday, July 23
Where: DC Estate Winery, 8877 State Line Road, South Beloit
For more: https://www.getpipermae.com
Christmas in July Parking Lot Party
What: Bring your own chair and park right in the parking lot. Enjoy food and beverage service inside and outside with a special menu and DJ Jimmie Jamz playing music. Dress your Christmas best for the costume contest. The best outfit wins a $100 gift card to The Pomodoro and a $100 gift card to Baked Wings. The event benefits Gigi’s Playhouse.
When: Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23
Where: The Pomodoro, 6500 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park
For more: 815-654-9900
Pasqua Pop-Up Art Fair
What: Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of art. This event is dedicated to showcasing the talent of local artists. Stroll through the market while enjoying the sights and sounds of Rockford’s creative community. Discover beautiful paintings, unique art, stunning photography and more. Music by Chris Lewis Music.
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23
Where: Lino’s, 5611 E. State St., Rockford
For more: 815-397-2077
Organ Concert at the Coronado
What: No tickets or reservations required for organ concert featuring organist Bob Bates and Coronado’s original 1927 Barton Organ. This event will take you back to 1927 to experience the Coronado’s Grand Barton Organ. For all ages. The event also includes a visit to the Coronado history center, which features Coronado historical photos, archives and artifacts.
When: Noon to 1 p.m. Monday, July 24 (doors open at 11:45 a.m.)
Where: Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford
For more: 815-847-6314
Rock Valley Summer Festival
What: The Rock Valley Summer Festival Orchestra is made up of musicians from the Music Academy in Rockford, Rock Valley College, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, and local professional musicians. The orchestra is led and directed by Brandon Lamm, Rock Valley College music professor.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 25
Where: Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford
For more: 815-969-6039
Raise a Glass for Teachers
What: Belvidere CUSD 100 and Harlem CUSD 122 will be bartending for your tips to benefit Golden Apple Foundation. Enjoy dinner, drinks and some friendly rivalry.
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 26
Where: Coaches Corner, 622 S. State St., Belvidere
For more: 779-210-2991
Kathi Edwards is a freelance correspondent.