Looking for something to do this weekend in the Rockford area? Here are 28 upcoming events

Kathi Edwards
Special to the Rockford Register Star

Music on the Mall

What: On June 7, enjoy performance by River Road Trio, a suburban Chicago country band. Food and drinks from Lucha Cantina and Cork, Keg & Spirits will be available. Seating is limited so bringing your own chair is encouraged. In the event of inclement weather, Music on the Mall may be canceled or re-scheduled.

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: Center Court at Edgebrook Center near Cora Physical Therapy, 1643 N. Alpine Road, Rockford

Cost: Free

Need a break?

Art in the Dark

What: The overpowering utilization of fluorescent color spans back decades. This is a collection that celebrates the tradition of the weird — from the wayback machine of the early 70’s flocked posters, to the modern times of creative employment. Toys, masks and original paintings from talent spanning the country join a modest print collection in the gallery’s compilation. Come peruse the art and perhaps even take home a small part of forgotten history. Everyone is  welcome.

When: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: 317 Art Collective, 317 Market St., Rockford

Cost: Free

Ancient Aliens Live

What: Ancient Aliens Live: Project Earth is an experiential extension of Ancient Aliens that explores the theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. The 90-minute live experience celebrates the long-running program Ancient Aliens on The History Channel and features leading Ancient Astronaut theorist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, investigative mythologist William Henry, UFO investigator Nick Pope, and real-life Indiana Jones, David Childress.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford

Cost: $44-$104

Open Mic Pride Month Poetry Reading

What: Host Jenna Goldsmith, Rockford’s Poet Laureate, leads participants through a diverse array of poetic performances. This event is family-friendly and inclusive, a queer-centered event that welcomes everyone to share their thoughts and emotions through poetry.

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: The LIAM Foundation, 1005 Fifth Ave., Rockford

Cost: Free

Outdoor Family Movie Night

What: Bring the whole family to enjoy a movie outdoors. Pack your lawn chairs, a cooler and some blankets to watch "Migration." There will be activities for all ages starting at 7 p.m. The movie will start at sundown. Open to the community.

When: 7 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA, 200 Y Blvd., Rockford

Cost: Free

First Friday Wine Tasting

What: Sample 24 different wines from around the world as you help raise money for the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation. The foundation's mission is to provide opportunities to enrich the lives, stimulate encouragement and strengthen the faith of adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their loved ones.

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: Artale Wine Co., 6876 Spring Creek Road, Rockford

Cost: $20 cash or check donation to the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation

The Pull: Boone County Series

What: This action-packed event includes two Lowry Pulling Sleds featuring Midwest Tractor and Truck Pullers and Illini State Pullers. Classes include: Barnyard Gas Trucks, Outlaw Gas Trucks, Pro Gas Trucks, Muscle Tractors, Modified Tractors, ISP 6,000 LLSS Tractors, ISP 7,000, NA Super Stock Tractors, Street Diesel Trucks, Workstock Diesel Trucks, Outlaw Diesel Trucks, 3.0 Limited Diesel Trucks. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. No carry-ins. Food sales benefit Boone County 4-H. The 50/50 raffle benefits the Belvidere Lions Club.

When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, June 7 (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)

Where: Boone County Fairgrounds, 8146 Fairgrounds Road, Belvidere

Cost: $20; $5 for ages 10-15; free for age 9 and younger

Annual Horse Show

What: BraveHearts is kicking off summer by hosting its Annual Horse Show, featuring all programs. Competitors must be pre-registered to participate. Spectators welcome.

When: 11 a.m. Friday, June 7

Where: Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding and Education Center, 4950 IL Route 173, Poplar Grove

Rockford City Market

What: Rockford City Market features local growers and vendors who sell handmade products, including vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, cheeses, flowers, herbs, baked goods, wine and prepared food, as well as artisans and vendors with unique offerings. Sample local food and brews and listen to live music under the covered pavilion. Families also enjoy free weekly kid's activities. The Vince Chiarelli Band performs June 7.

When: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 7

Where: Water Street at East State Street, Rockford

Cost: Free

Artsy Arts & Crafts Exhibit

What: ARTSY is an arts and crafts exhibit supporting local artisans and crafters, with makers, live music, snack food and more. All Edgebrook merchants and eateries will have normal business hours.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Edgebrook Center, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford

Cost: Free admission

DC Estate Wine Run 5K

What: Cool down and quench your thirst with a post-race glass of Cunningham Creek's finest. This event provides scenic views, cool vibes and wine. Proceeds support Vets Roll.

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: DC Estate, 8925 State Line Road, South Beloit

Cost: $45; $25 for ages 20 and younger

10th Annual Drug Overdose Awareness Walk

What: There will be Narcan and Narcan training, along with resources and information about addiction and grieving. Signs for loved ones lost to this terrible disease can be ordered for free to be used for the walk via overdoseawarenesswalk@gmail.com. Please include a picture, the birthday, heavenly birthday and a few things about them you’d like to share.

When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8

Where: YMCA of Rock River Valley, 200 Y Blvd., Rockford

Porkchop Cookout at Cars ‘n Coffee

What: Porkchop sandwich, chips, drink and dessert meal fundraiser for Katie's Cup Coffee Bar is during the Cars ‘n Coffee event across the street.

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8

Where: Katie’s Cup, 502 Seventh St., Rockford

Cost: $10 per meal

Book Signing: Gary Hill

What: Local author Gary Hill will be signing books and greeting fans. Gary Hill has been publishing Music Street Journal since 1998. He also published all the archives in book form. He launched Tales of Wonder and Dread Publishing to release science fiction and horror books in 2018, under which he has published more than three dozen books.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Maze Books, 406 E. State St., Rockford

Cost: Free admission


What: Join downtown Rockton businesses as the 100 west block of Main Street (Deedee's to Rockton Food & Spirits) is closed off for bands, food, beverages and all kinds of games and activities in the spirit of the date's theme. All ages are welcome. Attendees are encouraged to dress to impress and enjoy theme-centered activities. The theme June 8 is 'Merica (patriotic). The featured band will be Dirt Road Rebelz.

When: 5 p.m. Saturday, June 8; July 13; Aug. 10

Where: Downtown Rockton

Second Annual Beneath the Beard fundraiser

What: Proceeds will go to Beneath the Beard, a veterans help foundation. Food trucks on site include Bing’s and Blackstar Food. Entertainment by Stereotype, Rollin’ Whiskey, Modifire and Dead Man’s Hand.

When: 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Buster’s Bar and Grill, 7113 N. Alpine Road, Loves Park

Cost: $5 entry fee/donation

Boone County Art Fair

What: The art fair is being hosted by the Boone County Historical Society, the Boone County Arts Council and the Belvidere Woman's. (Rain date is June 16) 

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 9

Where: Funderburg House grounds, 605 N. State St., Belvidere

Watches, Wheels and Whiskey

What: The event includes a display of exclusive watch collections for sale; food and whiskey tastings and a classic car display. Family-friendly. Proceeds support Cars Curing Kids.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Gruno’s Diamonds, 801 N. Perryville Road, Rockford

Cost: $20

Habitat Opening and Cicada Celebration

What: Come for the grand opening of this year’s seasonal outdoor exhibit, , and take part in a cicada celebration at the same time. There will be a booth from 10 a.m. to noon to promote Habitat and to celebrate the periodical cicadas. There will be cicada coloring pages and anyone who asks a question about cicadas,  or Klehm in general will receive a free cicada sticker. There will be a hike at 1 p.m.

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford

Cost: Free with paid admission; free for members

Hooked on Fun Kid’s Fishing Derby

What: ​This fishing experience, just for kids, is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to fishing in a safe, controlled environment. ​​Participant prizes and a big fish trophy will be awarded. Staff and volunteers will be assisting and educating. For ages 3-16. Included in this event: Raffle prizes, giveaways, live fish and educational materials presented by the IDNR, kids crafts, make your own s'mores, free hotdog lunch from the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department.

When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8

Where: Four Lakes Forest Preserve, 10207 Fish Hatchery Road, Pecatonica

Cost: Free

Midtown Fun and Health Fair

What: Midtown Fun and Health Fair is a family event featuring games, resources and food, with a focus on health.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Patriot’s Gateway Center, 615 S. Fifth St., Rockford

Cost: Free

Stateline Strides for Stroke 5k Run/Walk

What: All proceeds from this inaugural charity event will go directly to the Rockford Area Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp. Stroke Camp occurs annually and targets stroke education, increases stroke awareness and improves quality of life for stroke survivors, caregivers and their families through both indoor/outdoor activities.

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford

Cost: $35; $20 for children

Birdsongs Vol. 2: Sounds of the Bell Bowl Prairie

What: Join Micky Torpedo and the Sinnissippi Audubon Society in celebrating the release of their second collaboration: Birdsongs, Vol 2 - Sounds of The Bell Bowl Prairie. This album highlights popular "backyard bird" species that may be affected by climate change, as identified on the Audubon Society Survival by Degrees report. It also celebrates prairies like the Bell Bowl Prairie. The album and live performance will feature woodwinds, strings, brass, and more. The performance will be recorded live by WNIJ to be broadcast at a later date. CDs will be available for purchase at the event. This is a family friendly event. Pig Minds Brewing Company will be on hand to serve the 21+ crowd.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford

Cost: $15

The Gathering at Macktown

What: Experience American frontier life in the early to mid-1800s. The historical presentation will include blacksmithing, muzzleloader shooting, crafts and demonstrations, traders and voyageurs, and much more to do and see. Rain or shine.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 9

Where: Macktown Living History, 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton

Cost: $7; $5 students; free for children age 6 and younger and members

South Main Mercado

What: South Main Mercado is an outdoor market, serving south Rockford and the Rockford community. It started as an idea to showcase the Hispanic/Latino Community and has grown into a larger community event featuring a variety of local retail vendors, community service agencies, food trucks and live music.

When: Noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 9

Where: 917 S. Main St., Rockford

RCL Holistic Living Expo

What: The expo will feature family-friendly activities, workshops, demonstrations and shopping with more than 50 vendors, with a focus on holistic health, wellness, sustainability and spiritual healing. Enjoy a healing session, catch a workshop and find some local products and services. There will be a children's area where toddlers through teens can play. There will also be raffles and giveaways all day to help raise funds for our Bee Like Marly Scholarship.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 9

Where: Nashold Early Childhood Center, 3303 20th St., Rockford

Cost: Free admission

Stoneware Workshop: Gnome Planter or Mushroom

What: Stoneware is fired at a much higher temperature than the normal ceramics we offer, making it more durable, 100% water/dishwasher safe and safe outside. Stoneware can be put in the oven or freezer. The stoneware glazes and combinations are unique. This is a workshop, not a step-by-step class. We will go over different techniques, show examples of combinations and give stoneware education, but you are free to paint them however you would like.

When: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, June 9

Where: Pottery Lounge, 312 N. Alpine Road, Suite 104, Rockford

Cost: $45 per project

Dog’s Day Out

What: Spend quality time with your dog and whole family as you visit food trucks, training demonstrations, vendors, farm tours. There will also be entertainment and photo opportunities. Dogs will be able to swim in our pool with staff (don't forget to bring a towel), test their speed on the Fast Cat course and enjoy plenty of activities and treats. Cantina Taco food truck and an ice cream truck will be here. Plus, with a cash donation to the Belvidere Police Department K9 Unit, you can take a spin on the prize wheel; 100% of donations go directly to supporting the local police department. All dogs are welcome and should be secured on a leash.

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9

Where: Meyer’s Tails Up Farm, 5390 Irene Road, Belvidere

Cost: free admission

Coming next week

Dockside Live

What: Dockside Live, born on the heels of the iconic Dinner on the Dock is Prairie Street Brewing Co.’s answer to a more locally-focused and intimate live music experience on our dock. Dockside Live is always free and always entertaining. The performer Monday, June 10 is Kayla Seeber, as seen on The Voice, a talented, local musician with enticing guitars and vocals. Live music from 6-9 p.m.; the kitchen is open until 9 p.m. The event is for all ages. During Dockside Live, enjoy walk-up bar service with open seating on our lower dock “lounge” area or see our host stand to sit down for full menu table service. No reservations.

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 10

Where: Prairie Street Brewing Co., 200 Prairie St., Rockford

Cost: Free admission

Tuesday Evening in the Gardens

What: Tuesday Evening in the Gardens features local, regional and nationally touring musicians. Guests are invited to enter and set up the seating area starting at 5 p.m. Blankets, lawn chairs and small tables are welcome. The parking lot fills up early; off-site parking at the College of Medicine with complimentary shuttle service to and from the Visitor Center. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Carry-in picnic suppers are welcome; carry-in beverages are not allowed. Bags will be checked upon entry. The Verve Pipe of Lansing, Michigan, will perform starting at 6:30 p.m. June 11, with opening act Brett Newski Trio, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, starting at 5:30 p.m..

When: 5:45 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 11

Where: Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford

Cost: $12; $11 for seniors; $10 for Military and students; Free for age 5 and younger or Premium Garden Members

Food Truck Tuesdays

What: Enjoy tasty eats from as many as 15 local food trucks each week, while soaking in the beauty of the gardens. Trolley rides run throughout the night to help people enjoy the riverfront and get around the campus. Dogs must be leashed and 15 feet from food and beverage trucks at all times. Alcohol must be purchased on site; alcohol is not allowed on the trolley, on the recreation path or in other parking lots. Cashless transactions are encouraged.

When: 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 27; 4-8 p.m. Sept. 3 – Oct. 29

Where: Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, 1354 N. Second St., Rockford

Tom’s Elton Tribute

What: The world’s number one Elton John tribute band is coming to play all the hits by Elton John. Tom Cridland, who plays the part of Elton John on lead vocals and piano and is close friends with Elton’s drummer, Nigel Olsson, has recorded songs and episodes of his Greatest Music of All Time Podcast with Elton John’s guitarist, Davey Johnstone and has even met Sir Elton John himself. The level of attention to detail in recreating the music and costumes of Elton John and his band is unparalleled.

When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 11

Where: RPL Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford

Cost: $30

Summer Concert Series: Gabriel Datcu

What: Gabriel has been actively providing live entertainment as a solo guitarist, or with ensembles, locally and nationally for more than 25 years, becoming a versatile guitarist. He improvises styles of classical, jazz, Latin, funk, R&B, Motown, acoustic rock and current top hits. 

When: 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 12

Where: Franchesco’s, 7128 Spring Creek Road, Rockford

Pages and Paths

What: Enjoy the benefits of a book club without the commitment, with the added bonus of exploring the great outdoors. Stretch your mind, expand your social circle and exercise your body. Bring your current reading selection. Find a comfy spot to spend 30 minutes reading your book of choice. Then, for the next 30 minutes attendees will gather to share about their selections, facilitated by staff from South Beloit Public Library. Finally, the group will spend 30 minutes walking the trails of The Confluence. All ages are welcome.

When: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12

Where: Nature at the Confluence, 306 Dickop St., South Beloit

Cost: Free

Dinner on the Dock

What: The 2024 Dinner on the Dock Music series offers guests food, locally brewed craft beer and locally and nationally recognized musical acts. Come by car or boat and relax on the dock. The performer for June 13 is Hillbilly Rockstarz, the #1 Country Rock band in the Midwest.

When: 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 13

Where: Prairie Street Brewing Co., 200 Prairie St., Rockford

Cost: Free admission; table and boat slip reservations available

Music in the Park

What: Beatles tribute band, American English, will perform June 13 in one of the season’s prime concerts. Music in the Park is an outdoor summer concert series held at the open-air Sinnissippi Park Music Shell. A variety of musical performers, styles and genres is presented. Arrive early for best seating. Ending times are approximate. The series consists of both free and admission fee shows, depending on the performance. Bring a picnic to enjoy, or purchase concession items.

When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13

Where: Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, 2010 Arlington Ave., Rockford

Cost: $5

Guys and Dolls

What: The Bengt Sjostrom Theatre at Rock Valley College will be transformed into the bustling streets of 1950's New York City and set the stage for a high-stakes game on love, luck and laughter. Filled with toe-tapping tunes, sharp witted humor and a sense of Broadway magic, Guys and Dolls promotes a night of romance, mischief and the rhythm of the city that never sleeps. Suggested audience is pre-teen and older.

When: 8 p.m. June 12-15; 2 p.m. June 15; and July 17-21

Where: Starlight Theatre at Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford

Cost: $28; $26 for seniors age 65 or older, military, teachers and employees; $17 for students (high school or college); $12 for children age 12 and younger

Old Settlers Days

What: Old Settlers Days is a 4-day music festival in the heart of downtown Rockton. The festival also hosts a parade, carnival, blood drive, 5K run and summer fair food. OSD is the largest annual fundraiser for the Rockton Lions Club.

When: June 13-16

Where: Settlers Park, 100 Hawick St., Rockton

8th Annual Art in Bloom

What: Art in Bloom will have an imaginative display of live florals and other organic materials by local designers based on Permanent Collection works. Because of construction at Rockford Art Museum, this year’s exhibition will be at Union Event Space.

When: Thursday, June 13 – Sunday, June 16

Where: Union Event Space, 112 S. Second St., Rockford

Cost: $10; $5 for RAM members

June story time

What: Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens and the YWCA Literacy Council will provide a book for all children to bring home after their time at the museum.

When: 10:30-11 a.m. Thursday, June 13

Where: Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens, 411 S. Kent St., Rockford

Cost: Free

Budding Ecologist Series

What: Our new budding ecologist program will keep your nature-loving kiddos outside during the summer while learning what it’s like to be an ecologist. The first hour will be a lesson and activity; the second hour will be outside adventuring on our 155-acre campus.

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 13

Where: Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford

Cost: $12 per class members | $14 per class nonmembers

Walking tours of riverfront architecture

What: Enjoy viewing an eclectic, unique collection of public sculpture while getting the benefits of outdoor exercise by taking a guided walking sculpture tour. Rockford Park District’s award-winning two-mile scenic walk and organized tour along the Rock River Recreation Path is held once a month June-October, on select dates (weather permitting), departing from the Nicholas Conservatory lobby. The tour features 16 sculptures, some of which are works by local artists, and many of which were donated to the Park District. Pre-registration is required. Walking shoes and a bottle of water are recommended. Dress for the weather.

When: 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 13

Where: Nicholas Conservatory lobby, 1354 N. Second St., Rockford

Cost: Free