Holiday kick-off shows signs of success - – Rockford’s News Leader

Holiday kick-off shows signs of success


Saturday, November 28, Stroll on State was held in downtown Rockford.

It brought out thousands of people for concerts, shopping and tasting of local cuisines. People came out to kick-off the holiday season.

John Groh, President CEO of Rockford Area Visitors Bureae, stated, "We have had a team working for months to prepare this really magical experience in downtown with horse and wagon rides, ice skating and santa land experience."

This is the third year  for the event hosted by the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Officials say this year turnout looks promising.

Groh adds, "We don't have official numbers yet we are really optimistic that this has exceeded expectations and exeeded attendance from previous years."

One group excited about all those people are small business owners. The event always lands on Small Business Saturday, a day when people are urged to spend their money at local stores. The shops on State Street get extra attention.

"Many of them tell us that this is going to be one of the best days of the year." Groh explains, "It exposes their business and all of these businesses downtown to an entire new audience who maybe didn't know about them before."

This year the celebration was a little brighter. The river lights show,  which shines red, green and blue lights along the Rock River, launched with Stroll on State.

"River lights keeps the Stroll on State magic and merriment going each and every night between today and New Years." Groh says, "That's what we really want is for that Christmas spirit to be alive." 

The River Lights provides a gentle reminder that the spirit of the holidays continues to shine on downtown Rockford.

13 WREX was also part of the fun at Stroll on State. Some familar faces could be spotted sharing in the celebration. Enjoying the choir at the main stage and taking their own strolls down state--Morgan Kolkmeyer, Elliot Grandia, Sean Muserallo, Kristin Crowley and Alex Kirchner from the our on-air team got a chance to mingle with the crowd. 13 wrex was a proud sponsor of Stroll on State.

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