You can watch outhouse races and parades, hear patriotic and other music, and watch fireworks dot the sky at Fourth of July celebrations throughout the next several days in the Rock River Valley. Here's a listing of lots of activities, as well as what will be closed Wednesday, July 4.
37th annual Rockford Patriotic Celebration, 7:30 p.m. today, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, First Evangelical Free Church, 2223 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. The SummerWood series presents a live symphony orchestra and choir with a star-spangled salute to the armed forces. Freewill offering. 815-877-7046.
Rockford Symphony Orchestra ComEd Independence Day Spectacular, 6 p.m. for barbecue dinner, 8 p.m. for concert Tuesday, July 3, at Rock Valley College Bengt Sjostrom (Starlight) Theatre, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. $27, $26, students and seniors for concert, $15, $8 for younger than 12 for dinner. 815-921-2150.
Music in the Park Patriotic Concert, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford. Free. 815-987-8800.
22nd annual Patriotic Prayer Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford. Guest speaker is Lt. Col. Steve Russell (Ret.), music, free continental breakfast and T-shirt for first 1,000 attendees. Free. 815-654-1200, ext. 228.
Kaboom! 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Delve into the chemistry and physics of July 4 celebrations. Arts, crafts and giveaways. Leave your car at Discovery Center for the evening parade and fireworks downtown. Included with museum admission. $5; $4 for ages 2 to 17. 815-963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.
MELD Fourth of July Classic Run/Walk, Wednesday, July 4, at Madison Street under Jefferson Street Bridge, Rockford; featuring an 8K run, 1-mile run and 1-mile fun run/walk. Registration forms available at the YMCA, Runner's Image and the MELD office, or register at rockfordmeld.org. 7 a.m. for the 8K run; 7:05 a.m. for the 1 mile run; 8:15 a.m. for 1-mile run/walk. $25 run entry fee for 8K or 1-mile; $15 fun walk entry fee. 815-965-8336.
Rockford Fourth of July Parade, 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, beginning at Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street and continuing down State Street. Free. One of the features with the parade will include you and your canine joining in the parade with the Humane Society of Winnebago County. There will be a $10 donation per dog. Theme is Red, White and Blue. To reserve a spot in the parade, call Suzanne at 815-543-4014.
SkyConcert 2007, Wednesday, July 4, Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford; gates open at 5 p.m. with fireworks show starting at 9:30. $6 for entrance to Davis Park only where there will be games, food, face-painting and finals for the Rockford's Idol singing contest. 815-965-0768, rockfordfireandice.com.
4 p.m. Sunday, July 1, Heritage Days Parade from Logan Avenue down State Street, free; 6 p.m. Duck Derby on the Kishwaukee River at Main Street bridge, $5 a duck; fireworks at dusk set off near downtown, free. 815-597-1530.
If you'd like to feature your motorcycle before and during the parade, register now with Brian Minick of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Sunday, meet between 2:15 and 2:30 p.m. at Dream Homes USA, 1000 Chrysler Drive.
1 p.m. parade Wednesday, July 4, along East State Street; fireworks at dusk at Baumann Park, 300 S. Walnut St. Free. 815-332-3441.
7 p.m. today, June 29, street concert with Amy Dalley, $15, $10 in advance; Saturday, June 30, includes go-kart racing around the town square and a carnival, 7 p.m. street concert with Caroline's Spine "Acoustic" and Crooked X ($15, $10 in advance); Sunday, July 1, includes pancake breakfast, 1:30 p.m. parades, 4 p.m. outhouse races; Wednesday, July 4, includes chicken barbecue, antique tractor pulls and 9 p.m. fireworks at the Durand School grounds. 815-248-4445, durandevents.com
Includes carnival, 7 p.m. queen contest Tuesday, July 3; 11 a.m. parade on Main Street, 2 p.m. Fire Department water fights, 5 to 8 p.m. JD Brown and Blooze Brothers bands Wednesday, July 3; 5 p.m. square dance demonstration and 7 p.m. Picture This classic rock Friday, July 6; 5 p.m. Hi-Infidelity classic rock and 9:30 p.m. fireworks at baseball diamond off Hortense Street Saturday, July 7. Bands and carnival at Franklin Township Park, 200 Park St. Call 815-522-3589 for costs, information.
Car racing at 7:07 p.m. and fireworks at dusk Tuesday, July 3, and Wednesday, July 4, at Rockford Speedway, 9572 Forest Hills Road. $12, $10; $6, $5 for ages 6 to 11. 815-633-1500.
Fireworks at dusk Wednesday, July 4, by Rockford Country Club across the Rock River (may be viewed from Shorewood Park, East and Evelyn avenues). Ski Broncs Water Ski Team performs at 6:15 p.m. Free. 815-243-5128.
Let Freedom Ring Celebration, Saturday, June 30, to Wednesday, July 4, various locations mostly in downtown Mount Morris, including: 9 p.m. Saturday, June 30, alumni dance at Moose Lodge; 7 p.m. Sunday, July 1, Jim Wolber & the Boys, band shell; 7 p.m. Monday, July 2, queen coronation in band shell; 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, patriotic concert, band shell; 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, motorcycle parade, 2 p.m. grand parade down Brayton Road, 9 p.m. fireworks at the junior high. Free. 815-734-6425
Old Settler's Days runs July 5 to 8, with noon parade Saturday, July 7, starting at Hononegah High School; at Settler's Park in the 300 block of East Main Street events include carnival, food and musical entertainment by Southern Heritage on Thursday, Cat Fight on Friday, Mike and Joe on Saturday, and The West Side Andy and Mel Ford Band on Sunday; fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8. Cost is $3 through July 4; $5 at the gate, free for 12 and younger. No additional charge for musical entertainment. 815-624-6839, oldsettlersdays.com.
Free activities all day Wednesday, July 4: Fun run with registration at 6:30 a.m. and starting at 7 (or call Marianne Eshleman at 815-629-9657 to register in advance); 6:30 a.m. breakfast (freewill offering) at Shirland United Methodist Church, 8020 North St.; 10 a.m. parade; all-day games, canine demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and bazaar; and fireworks at dusk, all at Shirland School, 8020 North St. 815-629-2075.
All activities at Winnebago middle and high schools and include 7 p.m. Prime Time Live and 8:40 p.m. pie-eating contest Tuesday, July 3; 1 to 4 p.m. Moondogs, 5 to 9 p.m. Juelane & Gid-E-Up (right), 9:15 fireworks Wednesday, July 4. Activities are free. 815-335-2020.