Things to do in Rockford, IL for the weekend of July 23-24: Baseball and Banjos

ROCKFORD – The sweltering days of summer have arrived, but there are still a variety of family-friendly events and activities to choose from in the Rock River Valley.

This fourth weekend of July brings us Brat Days, big band music and more.

Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days

What: The 51st Annual Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. All proceeds are donated directly to local nonprofits and area youth for scholarships. Over the past 50 years, the Alpine Kiwanis Club has donated over $2,000,000 to support the local community.

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: U-Haul, 5909 E. State St., Rockford & Blain’s Farm & Fleet, 7300 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park. Special “Take Your Kid to Work” drive-thru service only at Blain’s Farm & Fleet from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Fridays.

Cost: Tickets are $7 in advance and $8 onsite and include a choice of Johnsonville Brat, All-Beef Johnsonville Hot Dog, Meatless Barbeque, Vegan/Vegetarian Brat and Mrs. Fisher’s Chips as well as Pepsi products or water.

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Mark Dvorak presented by Inscape Collective

What: Musician Mark Dvorak is a master of the acoustic guitar and five-string banjo. A former member of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk, Dvorak has produced several CDs, including a collection of Weavers songs and an album specifically for young listeners, “Old Songs & New People” which won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal. Awards. Spectators will have the opportunity to shop Inscape Collective’s unique products starting at 6:00 p.m. before the concert. The store will also be open until 9:00 p.m. after the performance. The concert is organized in cooperation with Rockford Urban Ministries.

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Inscape Collective, 201 7th St., Rockford


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Cedar Bluff Cemetery by Twilight Tour

What: Join Haunted Rockford for this midsummer cemetery tour. Guides will share stories that shed light on the darker side of Rockford’s history, including murders and tragic accidents. This is a walking tour, so please wear comfortable shoes. Water and insect repellent will be provided.

When: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Cedar Bluff Cemetery, 1200 Rural Street, Rockford

Cost: Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the event.

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“Disaster!” in starlight

What: It’s 1979 and New York’s hottest stars are lining up for the opening of a floating casino and nightclub. Also in attendance is a faded disco star, a sexy nightclub singer with her eleven-year-old twins, a disaster expert, a feminist journalist, an older couple with a secret, a pair of young men looking for wives, an untrustworthy businessman and a nun with a gambling addition. What begins as a night of boogie fever quickly turns into panic as the ship succumbs to multiple disasters, such as earthquakes, raz -of-tide and the underworld. As night turns to day, everyone struggles to survive and, most likely, mend the love they’ve lost…or at least escape the killer rats.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday

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

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summer girls

What: Studio Rockford presents an original production “The Girls of Summer”, based on our local and historic Rockford Peaches baseball organization.

When: Friday 6 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Same schedule for the weekend of July 29 to 31.

Where: Rockford University Clark Center for the Arts, 5050 E. State St., Rockford

Cost: Adults: $13 in advance, $15 at the door; Children (12 and under): $11 in advance, $13 at the door; Seniors (55+): $11 in advance, $13 at the door. Seats are general admission.

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music on the mall

What: Featuring the Joel Baer Big Band, a 17 piece band featuring Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr. and other big band artists.

When: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Edgebrook Central Court, 1641 N. Alpine Road, Rockford


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Chow-Down Food Truck Fest

What: This is a multicultural foodie event to showcase the diversity of 815. Food trucks from across the region will be on hand. This event benefits two local non-profit organizations; MASA and Miracle Mile Rockford.

When: 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday

Where: Old Magna Lot, 3923 E. State St., Rockford

Cost: $1 donation per person

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Buchanan Street Walk

What: Buchanan Street Stroll is a fun outdoor event where the city brings live music, food trucks, kid-friendly activities and vendors of all kinds to downtown Belvidere.

When: 5pm-9pm Saturday

Where: 200 Buchanan Street, Belvidere

Cost: Free

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“God is not here”

What: Never Submit Entertainment and Richcolor Productions present the red carpet world premiere for “God Is Not Here,” the first-ever faith-based anthology, featuring three stories about forgiveness, love and hope.

When: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday

Where: Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main Street, Rockford

Cost: $20 for standard, $30 for VIP

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Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Reach him at 815-987-1391, [email protected] or @DeCosterKen.

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