Rockford Park District celebrates 100th birthday - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Park District celebrates 100th birthday

Tim Dimke Tim Dimke
Doug Brooks Doug Brooks

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Friday was the Rockford Park District's birthday, and this year was a big one. About 300 people were on hand for the 100th anniversary celebration which included music, food and a theatrical production.

The event was held at Rockford College. 

Tim Dimke, executive director of the district, says, "It's just a time to reflect on where we've been and appreciate the great parks and recreation that this community has afforded to it, and plan even better for the next century."

"It's about building a dream," says Doug Brooks, president of the Park District Board of Commissioners. "It's about recalling what, how the park district got to where it is today, and really thinking about all the people who helped us get here today and build that dream."

A number of other events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the 100th Anniversary, including:

- The City's Largest Egg Hunt, with 50,000 eggs, Saturday, April 11th at 11:00 a.m. at Anna Page Park.  For ages 0-8.  Free.  Rain site is Kennedy Middle School.

- Turn Back the Clock and play golf like it was made to be played, with hickory sticks and old time balls, and vintage golf attire available for rent.  Two shotgun starts are offered for this unique "antique" golf outing at Sinnissippi on Friday, May 1.  (For adults 18 and older).  Fee to be determined, limited to 144 golfers.  Call 815-987-1602 for information or to make foursome reservations.

- "Camp Rockford" Spring Ice Show at Riverview Ice House celebrates 100 years with a cast of hundreds skating their way through a celebration of the Rockford Park District's park and recreation offerings.  This fast-paced ice show features special guest skater two-time National Champion, World Bronze Medalist, and Olympic competitor Evan Lysacek.  Performances are 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 8; 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9, and 2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 10 (Mother's Day).  Admission fee: $12-15 

- This spring, look for special flower and landscape plantings throughout the community in orange and yellow, plus a special planting in the floral clock in Sinnissippi Park, and a Centennial tree program.

- Celebrate the grand opening of the new Typhoon Terror thrill ride at Magic Waters, Saturday, May 23.  On Wednesday, June 24, Magic Waters will host a special celebration for the Park District's 100th anniversary. 

- Music in the Park special 100th anniversary concert, Tuesday, June 23, with the Rockford Concert Band featuring musical selections from the past century with a history narrative throughout the program.  Free admission; presented as part of the 2009 Music in the Park series.

- Fish Fest for all ages at Levings Lake, Saturday, July 11, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will conduct an Urban Fishing Clinic from 10 a.m. to noon with different stations to teach safety and casting.  IDNR will also stock Levings with tagged catfish for prizes (catch and release) from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m.  Loaner gear for up to 200 people.  Free, for all ages.

- X-Treme Sports Action - youth competitions at Harlem SkateWorks Park and the new Flodin Boys & Girls Club Skate Park;  finalists compete on Saturday.  Exhibitions and free clinics with professional individuals and teams.  For inline, BMX and skateboarding, August 3-8.  Free to participate, waivers required.  Presented by

- Camp Grant Day at Atwood Park.  "Report to Duty" to Camp Grant, once the largest military base in the Midwest.  Tour the historic sites and visit with re-enactors camped in Atwood Park.  Saturday, September 12.  Free admission; fees charged for some activities.

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