Budget cuts and a lack of support caused major headaches for two Rockford attractions, usually drawing big crowds and creating even bigger economic impacts. But, in an unexpected turn of events, both are coming back this summer.
Back in October, Rockford Marathon organizers felt they didn't have enough sponsorship to guarantee a race in 2014.
"The community at large was just generally really unhappy about that." -says RACVB Marketing & P.R. Director Bridget French.
Recently, sponsors, like SwedishAmerican and Rockford Health System have stepped up, bringing the event back just on a smaller scale.
"Last year, 1,200 runners ran and only 241 of those ran the full marathon, the rest ran the half-marathon." -French says.
Over Memorial Day weekend, organizers will put on a 13.1 mile race and a 10K.
"Even if we don't bring as many runners downtown this year, there will still be hundreds of people downtown eating in our restaurants, shopping in our shops and running by some of the great sites that we have to offer along the Rock River." -French adds.
And as half-marathon supporters prepare to hit the ground running, another event gears up to take flight.
"We're so excited to bring back Rockford Airfest 2014 this year." -says RFD Deputy Director Amy Ott.
High-octane action went on hiatus after federal budget slashes led to last summer's cancellation. We told you in February, the Chicago-Rockford International Airport plans to bring back AirFest June 7th and 8th. This week, organizers announce they need helpers, 500 of them, for their volunteer program so the sky-show runs smoothly.
"We launched it this morning and I think we're up to 50 people who have already registered." -Ott says.
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