On The Waterfront and 9 Other Former Rockfordish Events Ranked
As concerts, fairs, festivals, and events slowly return after the pandemic, let's relive some of the most-loved (and missed) gatherings in the Rockford area.
As a kid, It felt like some form of carnival popped up each weekend of the summer. Winnebago County Fair and Young At Festival were two I distinctly remember going to every year. I also loved On The Waterfront when I was in middle school even though I'd never attended. Odd, right? I loved OTW so much because of all the hype I'd hear on the radio. I needed to go.
When I was finally able to drive myself I went to all the festivals, including On The Waterfront, where I'd stalk my favorite radio DJs. (Shoutout to Steve Shannon and former rock jock duo Stone and Double T.)
I'd never attended a few annual of these events until I started working in radio that I still miss, primarily Chili Shootout and Wing Ding. I wish I could remember each year I went. #beerfog
I thought it would be fun to ask friends and family to share their favorite past-time events around the "state line" and the responses were pretty much all the same.
Turns out, most people all agreed on missing events like On The Waterfront, Beloit Riverfest, Cherry Valley Festival Days, Stars & Guitars, Airfest at Chicago International Airport, Groove Walk, and plenty more.
A few honorable mentions that didn't make the list but are deserving of a mention are Beatie Is... (held at Beatie Park in Rockford) and Turkey Testicle Festival in Byron, Illinois.