By day and most evenings, Downtown Rockford, Illinois, is home to family-friendly museums and community events. But every now and then the Rockford Main Street District throws a big nighttime party where the music rocks and adult beverages are the mainstay. Our visit to Rockford last summer happened to coincide with one of these events, the Two Block Party, so in the name of journalism, we were “forced” to cover it.
Streets were closed off in a two-block area and a big stage set up in an intersection. Dueling Pianos was the music entertainment while we were there.
Area bars and a couple of restaurants set up booths on the sidewalks, but their businesses were open as usual, also.
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Chris Wachowiak, owner of the Kryptonite Bar and involved in the Main Street District association, chatted with us about the area. As with many cities, Downtown Rockford suffered as chain businesses developed in other areas of the city. The association sponsors events like the Two Block Party in an attempt to draw attention back to the downtown district.
Besides evening adult-oriented parties, community events like the Rockford City Market bring folks back to Downtown Rockford. In addition, the Nordlof Center, a Rockford Public Library venue and home to the restored J.R. Sullivan Theater, hosts events like band and dance performances, as well as theater productions.
We spent quite a bit of time in Downtown Rockford during our weekend there, including visiting the Rockford Art Museum and dining at Octane Interlounge. We ended the evening of the Two Block Party in the Kryptonite Bar, where Wachowiak holds lots of his own events like open mic nights and trivia nights.
When I went to use the restroom, he encouraged me to take my camera, and I found out why. Even the bathroom rocks in the Kryptonite Bar.
Rockford is located in North Central Illinois. Visit the Rockford Main Street District Facebook Page to find out about upcoming Main Street District events and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau web site for information on other Downtown Rockford events.
Be sure to check out our new road trip blog, U.S. Long Cuts.
Disclosure: Our visit to Rockford was hosted by the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. However, opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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