Eight in the Eight-December 2016


Happy Holidays everyone! We hope your Thanksgiving weekend was everything you wanted it to be.  Liz and I are thankful for so much this year.  Between the two of us and our families we have a new marriage, a new home, a new job, and a new baby on the way (for Emily!). These big changes and all of the simple daily things make us grateful for where we live and what we do.  Our Eight in the Eight was especially challenging for us this month because there are so many great things happening in the area. If there is an event happening you think we should check out, let us know!

Songs & Suds (& Santa) @ Katie’s Cup
When: Tuesday, December 6 from 6:00-8:00PM

Enjoy Saint Nicholas Day, some Holiday songs, and some suds at Katie’s Cup.  This is a free event and just a time to socialize and get in the Holiday spirit.  While there, be sure to pick up a copy of the Katie’s Cup Christmas CD featuring many favorite, local artists.

LOCAL Holiday Market @ Rockford University
When: Saturday, December 10 from 10:00AM-4:00PM

As you may have noticed, we LOVE to shop local in the 815.  Check out the LOCAL Holiday Market sponsored by Winnebago Buy Local at Rockford University.  This one time Holiday Market is filled with completely LOCAL vendors.  Support and shop local businesses all in one spot.

Movie Night at the Farm @ Williams Tree Farm
When: Friday, December 16 @ 6:30PM

Bring your little ones, PJs and blankets, and get comfy at Williams Tree Farm while watching Arthur Christmas inside in the Keeping Room.  Snacks and treats will be available and admission is free, but donations are welcomed to support Kids Around the World.  

12 Bars of Christmas @ Downtown Rockford
When: Saturday, December 17, from 3:00-9:00PM

Check out the 2nd Annual 12 Bars of Christmas Pub Crawl and enjoy DJs, food & drink, prizes and fun.  Tickets are $28 and include a 12 Bars t-shirt, drink ticket and a goodie bag of surprises.  Every bar will offer a $5 Holiday Drink and complimentary hot chocolate &/or coffee.  Downtown and North End bars will be included!  Must be 21 years old to participate and there IS a shuttle!  Buy tickets here.

Rockford Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops @ Coronado Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday, December 17 @ 7:30 PM, Sunday, December 18 @ 3:00PM

Nothing gets us in the Holiday spirit like some incredible music performed by the fantastic Rockford Symphony Orchestra.  Celebrate all the season has to offer with the largest holiday musical celebration in the area and enjoy your choice of an evening or matinee performance.  Buy tickets here.

All Aglow @ Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
When: Now through January 8, 2017

Between the beautiful lights inside the Conservatory, the All Aglow Express, and Breakfast with Santa, there are no shortage of great, family friendly activities at the Nicholas Conservatory this month.  Enjoy a random evening walking around the NCG campus, or be sure to call ahead for tickets to the All Aglow Express (tickets are limited!).  Breakfast with Santa will take place December 3, 4, 10, 11 and 17.   

Festival of Lights @ Sinnissippi Park & Rockford River Lights along the Rock River
When: December 2-25 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5:00-10:00PM (Festival of Lights) and December 2-31 on Fridays and Saturdays (Rockford River Lights)

Rockford has truly stepped up their Holiday lighting game in the past couple of years.  Be sure to take a drive through the Festival of Lights (a Holiday tradition) and take a walk along the banks of the Rock River between State Street and the Jefferson Street Bridge.  Both events are incredible and we are so glad the Rockford River Lights are back this year!

Holiday Hoopla @ Discovery Center Museum
When: December 26-30, recurring daily from 11:30AM-3:30PM

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with the kiddos while they are on break, we would check out the Discovery Center as they merge hands-on arts and crafts with amazing math and science.  All activities included with museum admission.  



Eight in the Eight-November 2016


Christmas at the Farm 2016-Meyer’s Tails Up Farm
November 4-5, 2016

We know. We know. A Christmas event the first week in November? We couldn’t resist adding Christmas at the Farm to our list. This super cute annual shopping event filled with vintage goods and seasonal decor in a super cute setting.

Carrie Underwood-BMO Harris Bank Center                                                                                                     Wednesday, November 9, 2016 @ 7:00PM

Can we all agree that Country music musicians seem like they are all over the place, all the time? We just saw Carrie Underwood host the CMA’s (well, we didn’t because we were watching the Cubs!!), but Carrie will be gracing Rockford with her presence for what will surely be an entertaining show.

Turkey Trot-Aldeen Park
Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 9:00AM

Lace up your running shoes and burn some calories before your hearty Thanksgiving Day meal at the Rockford Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Rockford adds a twist to this race by having race contestants guess their completion times. Finish closest to your predicted time for a chance to win turkeys or pies!

Small Business Saturday-All over the city!                                                                                                         Saturday, November 26, 2016-All Day

Small Business Saturday is a nationwide movement to support local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving by starting your holiday shopping in your hometown. Businesses all over Rockford will be participating, and we challenge you to buy local for the special ones on your list this year, too!

Stroll on State-Downtown Rockford                                                                                                                     Saturday, November 26, 2016 from 3:00PM-9:00PM

Downtown Rockford will transform into a magical, winter wonderland. Stroll on State, a family friendly event is becoming a great holiday tradition that is free and open to the public.  Enjoy the city’s Christmas tree lighting, shop, dine, listen to music, view art, visit Santa, ice skate with your family, etc.  We look forward to see you out “strolling!”

The Nutcracker Ballet-Rockford University’s Maddox Theater                                                                   Saturday, November 26, 2016 @ 2:00PM & 7:00PM-Sunday, November 27, 2016 @ 2:00PM

Rockford Dance Company presents The Nutcracker Ballet. See this holiday classic at a new location, Rockford University’s Maddox Theater and enjoy the magical experience up close and personal.  Tickets available by calling the Rockford Dance Company.

Elf the Musical-Coronado Performing Arts Center                                                                                           Saturday, November 30, 2016 @ 7:30PM

Who else never tires of the holiday classic, Elf? Elf comes to the stage and tickets are now on sale for Elf the Musical at the Coronado PAC.  This will be a great way to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy a night out! Get tickets here.

Rockford Ice Hogs Game-BMO Harris Bank Center

Now that baseball is over, it’s time for hockey!  We are fortunate to have our own minor league team in town, the Rockford Ice Hogs.  The event staff makes the games a really great experience and tickets are reasonably priced.  Check out the Ice Hogs website for a schedule and special events.


Get Spooky in the 815


Greetings!  I must admit that I was never all that into Halloween (don’t hold it against me!).  In fact, when my husband and I decided to get married on October 30th a few years ago (Happy Anniversary, G!), I got questions like, “Are your colors orange and black?,” and “Do you want people to come in costumes?,” I shuttered at the thought and stuck with my generally fall-themed wedding.  Fast-forward a few years and my feelings have changed.  Owning a home has made me love having pumpkins on the front steps, opening the door to the most adorable trick-or-treaters, and introducing my toddler to the joys of dressing up has been awesome.  Once I fully embraced how fun Halloween can be, I realized just how many Halloween-related festivities go on throughout the month of October in Rockford, particularly this upcoming weekend.  So, I thought it might be fun to summarize what fun events we know about and hear from you all if there are any we missed.

Spooky Science-Discovery Center Museum                                                                                                           Friday, October 28, 2016 from 6:00-9:00pm

For a fun, safe and not-too-scary Halloween celebration for youngsters, check out Spooky Science at the Discovery Center Museum. Arrive in costume and bring a treat bag! Special activities include concocting glowing slime, meeting famous “dead” scientists, and science tricks that look like wizardry. Cost is $9 per person for the general public and $4 per person for members and includes all related activities.

Night Sounds-Burpee Museum of Natural History
Friday, October 28, 2016 at 6pm

Check out all four floors of Burpee for different activities, and a trick or treating event like no other.  Arrive in costume and bring a FLASHLIGHT! Cost is $4 for members and $7 general admission.

Spook the Blocks-Downtown Rockford                                                                                                                   Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 11:00am-2:00pm

My family will definitely be “Spooking the Blocks” this Saturday since we have so much fun last year. Trick-or-treating in downtown Rockford is becoming a fast tradition. Participating downtown businesses will be designated by an orange pumpkin poster in their front windows & that’s how you know where the treats are! Kids are encouraged to dress up!

BOOtique Trick or Treat-Roscoe & Rockton                                                                                                         Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 9:00AM-9:00PM

Local businesses in Roscoe & Rockton are inviting customers to “trick or treat” at the inaugural BOOtique Trick or Treat. Trick or Treaters will receive a card that they can get stamped at each participating business to win gift cards.  Costumes are encouraged!

Spook-tacular Haunts-Anderson Japanese Gardens                                                                                         Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 3:00-5:00pm

See Anderson Japanese Gardens in a whole new way.  Anderson Japanese Gardens is partnering with Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center and Haunted Rockford for a Halloween event that is geared towards the whole family.  Children are invited to come in costume and explore the Garden in a new and spooky way! Enjoy trick or treating throughout the Garden, make spooky treats, and enjoy guest animals.  Most activities are included with general admission.

Boos & Spirits Halloween Gala-The Standard                                                                                                     Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 6:00PM

The Junior League of Rockford is throwing a Boos & Spirits Halloween Gala to raise money to help fund the Junior League of Rockford and its projects at The Standard. Unfortunately, this event featuring fun adults only activities, such as dancing, gambling, a cigar bar, whiskey tasting, and silent auction is already sold out.  BUT, I am posting it here to remember for next year so we can all get tickets!

Hoppy Halloween-Prairie Street Brewhouse                                                                                                         Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 8:00PM

Check out PSB for a night of awesome costumes, drinks, and music at their annual Hoppy Halloween. Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts and DJ Briggs will be bringing “it” starting at 9:00PM.  $500 prize for best costume and $100 prize for best Star Wars costume!

A Nightmare on Main Street-The Olympic Tavern                                                                                             Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 8:00PM

Join the OT for their annual Halloween party on Saturday night! Be sure to wear your best costume to win prizes for best male, best female, best group/couple, and best overall.

Locktoberfest: Costume Party-Lockwood Park
October 29-30, 2016 @ 10:00AM

Visit Lockwood Park this weekend for some great family friendly activities.  Enjoy pony rides, trail rides, the corn maze, crafts, and games.  Admission is free and there are small fees for activities.

We hope you all have spooky, fun, and safe Halloween weekend!  If there are any events we missed, be sure to let us know!



Midway Village Museum Loop

One of our very first posts featured The Loop, one of our favorite walking routes in Rockford, and many of you agreed with us on our Facebook page. Another favorite walking route of ours is the Midway Village Museum Loop, located next to the Midway Village Museum. This 1.4  mile path is nestled away on Rockford’s east side and offers a beautiful and quiet route. It feels almost like you are walking on a path carved through a classic  Illinois prairie.






Many people make this stop part of their daily routine, and with its gentle inclines, it’s a great option for anyone, even those looking for a leisurely stroll. With benches around the path and placards with information about local wildlife and plants, there is a little something for everyone on the path.



Another great thing about the Midway Village loop is that it is close to the Perryville Path, so if you’d like to extend your workout, add some hill work, and change up the scenery for longer workouts, you can easily connect to the Perryville Path. And if you take youngsters, there is a park nearby for some mid-walk playtime or a monkey bar upper body workout.



Enjoy these beautiful fall days while they last, and get out to one of the great local walking paths.



Apples, Cider & Donuts…Oh My!

‘Tis the season when the weather changes, scenery changes, clothing changes, and our appetite changes.  I know you will agree that here in the 815, we love fall, the change in season and… a good apple orchard.  Though I know many of you have already ventured to your favorite orchard, I wanted to give you, what I believe, is a solid list of orchards in the area.  Certainly, you will notice some common themes–picking apples, hayrides, pumpkins, and donuts, donuts, donuts!

Edward’s Apple Orchard, 7061 Centerville Rd., Poplar Grove, IL

Patrons come from near and far to enjoy what is the largest orchard in the area, Edward’s Apple Orchard and is home to everyone’s favorite donut.  While the apples are delicious, I would say the main attractions have become the apple pie, sandwiches, apple cider, DONUTS, play area for children and the wide selection of festive home decor and seasonal food.  If you can, I recommend going during the week as the weekend seem to be (do)NUTS.




Edward’s Apple Orchard West, 8218 Cemetery Rd., Winnebago, IL

If you are craving the Edward’s donuts, but want a smaller version of the orchard, head on over to Edward’s Apple Orchard West.  This orchard is another great place for families as the lines tend to be a bit smaller and they have an excellent petting farm.  Enjoy picking your own apples, pumpkins and raspberries!

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Curran’s Orchard, 6385 Kilburn Ave., Rockford, IL

Choose your favorite in-season pumpkins and enjoy some apple donuts, award-winning cider, fresh baked apple pie, caramel apples, honey, maple syrup, jams, salad dressings, craft items, hay wagon rides, farm animal corral, straw bale mini-maze, climbing bales, apple launcher, & more!


Valley Orchard, 811 E. State St., Cherry Valley, IL

You all know by now that I LOVE the Valley Orchard in Cherry Valley.  In fact, I have already been there twice this season to pick apples.  With a small child, the size of this orchard is perfect.  We can walk to the apples we would like to pick, mix and match varieties and get as little or as much as we would like.  The apples are delicious and I love the small, homey atmosphere.  Not only did we pick apples last week, but we also picked raspberries and they were so good that they only lasted a day in our house. In addition to the great apple picking situation, I also love their GLAZED apple donuts (yes, I said it!), and everything else they offer in there little store.



Are there any other apple orchards in the area you like to visit?  We are always looking for more fun, fall activities!


Eight in the Eight-October 2016


Fall is off to a busy start this year, and our day-to-day work and life activities are no exception. Excuse our tardiness with this month’s 8 Things to do in the Eight (one five) post this month!

Fall ArtScene @ Various Rockford Venues                                                                                                       When: Friday, October 7, 5:00-9:00PM & Saturday, October 8, 4:00-9:00PM

The Rockford Area Arts Council is back at it with the Fall ArtScene. This is one of our favorite Rockford events. Extremely talented local artists displaying their work at various local studios, churches, restaurants and businesses all around town. Grab a group of friends and make a night of hopping around to check out different artists.

Scarecrow Harvest Festival @ Midway Village Museum                                                                             When: Saturday, October 8, 11:00AM-4:00PM

For some fall fun with your whole family, check out the Scarecrow Harvest Festival at Midway Village.  There is something about Midway Village that screams fall and is the perfect place for a scarecrow fest.  With general admission, you can enjoy scarecrow making, wagon rides, apple and pumpkin games, craft projects, scavenger hunts, dancing, and cooking demonstrations.  What fall yard is complete without a homemade scarecrow?

Head of the Rock Regatta  @ Rock River near YMCA log lodge                                                               When: Sunday, October 9, 8:00AM-4:00PM

Being former rowers (Liz much more serious than Emily), we LOVE the regatta.  Teams from across the country take over the banks of the Rock River, and we get the privilege of watching them row.  This decades-old race draws more than 2,000 rowers from across the country and more than 5,000 spectators annual.  On a nice day, this is a free event you won’t want to miss.

Hot Diggity Dog Festival @ Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden                                                         When: Sunday, October 16, 10:00AM-3:00PM

If you are a dog lover, you won’t want to miss this year’s dog event at Klehm!  They have added a lot of new features to the usual line-up of vendors and dog adoption groups, including; live music, demonstrations by dog trainers, kids craft activities, best trick contest and more. For every dog adopted at the festival you will receive a free family membership to Klehm. To quote the event’s Facebook page, “Come…Sit…Stay…all day!”

On Tap in the Garden @ Anderson Japanese Gardens
When: Saturday, October 22, 1:00PM-4:00PM

You know we love a good beer festival. And a festival among the changing leaves at Anderson Japanese Gardens makes for a delicious afternoon with an Instagram-worthy back drop. On Tap in the Garden will feature over 40 craft beers from local and regional breweries, as well as food from local food vendors.

Spook-tacular Haunts @ Anderson Japanese Gardens                                                                             When: Saturday, October 29, 3:00-5:00PM

Check out this inaugural spooky event put on by Anderson Japanese Gardens, Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center and Haunted Rockford, that will again, be a great family activity.  Children are invited to come in costume and explore the Garden in a new and spooky way!

Inaugural Roscoe & Rockton BOOtique Trick or Treat @ Roscoe and Rockton
When: Saturday, October 29, 9:00AM-9:00PM

Another first-time event on this weekend is the Inaugural Roscoe & Rockton Boutique Trick or Treat where shoppers can trick-or-treat for great deals at local Roscoe and Rockton small businesses. With over 25 stores and restaurants participating, there will be something fun for kids and adults alike.

Trip to the Apple Orchard 

We are fortunate to live in a climate where we get to experience all four seasons.  For us, fall=apple orchard.  With many locations to choose from, you should have no problem getting your apple orchard fix.  Check back next week for our full breakdown of  our favorite apple orchards in the area and what makes each of them unique!






815-Rockford’s Magazine-Fall Edition


Hello 815! Just in case you missed the second edition in the Rockford Register Star on Sunday, we wanted to get you all excited about the fall edition of the new hyperlocal magazine, 815.  We were pumped to see the fall edition this past Sunday and it had us feeling that we want fall to last all year long.  The fun news for us is that we have another feature in the magazine. It’s always a thrill for us to see our efforts in print. Today, we wanted to give you a peak at what we wrote and encourage you to pick up your own copy of 815 ASAP  Check out Becky Rose’s article in the Rockford Register Star to see how to get your copy.  Here is our piece:

We fell in love with Rockford and we fell in love IN Rockford. Emily met her husband in middle school, and they married in October 2010 in Rockford. Liz met her soon-to-be husband after college in Rockford, and they will marry here this November. Our love stories started in the 815, so it just feels right that the first Fall 815 article will be on weddings.

Sharing the love of our city with our wedding guests was and is extremely important to us, so we compiled a list of ways to share the 815 with wedding guests visiting the area.

Our first suggestion is to greet your guests with hotel welcome bags that have a Rockford twist. Welcome bags have become increasingly popular over the years as a form of hospitality. Adding some local snacks such as individual bags of Mrs. Fisher’s Potato Chips, Chocolat by Daniel and Trident gum made here in Rockford at Mondelez.

Another great option for providing your guests with a taste of something local, is to give wedding guest favors from local businesses. Whether cupcakes from our  favorite Sugarjones, or handmade chocolates from CACAOCUVÉE, tasty treats make for a great favor. You can also opt to have something designed and printed locally by Rockford Art Deli, such as can koozies!

Sharing Rockford with your wedding party is another great way to show the 815 some love. A great option for groomsmen gifts would be a beer carrier or bottle opener hand crafted in Rockford by Rockford Woodcrafts. For the bridesmaids, a nice piece of local jewelry or carrying tote from Urban Farmgirl could be just the thing.

Finally, a nice touch to your wedding website, or to the welcome bag at the hotel, is a map of your favorite local establishments. Be sure to include a breakfast stop such as Mary’s Market or Stockholm Inn, a family attraction such as the Discovery Center or Burpee Museum, and a downtown watering hole such as Prairie Street Brewing Company or Carlyle Brewing Company.

Weddings are a time of love overflow, so why not share your love for the 815, too.  



Guide to Greenwich


TGIF!  This weekend is shaping up to be another beautiful fall weekend in the 815 and the #1 event on my calendar is the Greenwich Village Art Fair, located on the grounds of the Rockford Art Museum. Held rain or shine, the annual two-day outdoor event is set to feature 136 artists from around the region and across the nation. Live music, local and regional vendors at the Gourmet Marketplace, children’s art activities at the Creations by Kids tent – plus food, drink and more at the Village Pub, Kortman Gallery‘s Point Bar, and throughout the fair.  Ticket proceeds ($3 in advance at any Alpine Bank location and Rockford Art Museum, $5 at the door) support Rockford Art Museum throughout the year. We have put together a Guide to Greenwich for you (can you tell we are into guides lately?) and we hope you will find it useful.

Tour Your Home & Review Your Calendar

Similar to what our guide mentioned last week, take this opportunity to walk through your house or apartment with a friend or significant other and take note of blank walls and empty shelves. For example, I would like to find a great piece of art for the wall above the couch in her living room. Think about what kind of things could fill those spaces. Knowing what you are looking for will help keep you focused at the fair. Also, Greenwich is an amazing place to find gifts, so review your calendar for upcoming special occasions.  I have purchased several pieces of jewelry for family and friends over the years and because they are usually one of a kind, they are especially great presents.

Wear Comfortable Footwear & Plan Parking


If my family and friends know anything about me, they know that I am a planner.  I would highly recommend taking a peek at this parking map to see where to park and where not to park.  During peak times at the fair, parking can be at a premium, so be sure to bring your walking shoes so you are able to enjoy your entire time at the fair.  In addition, the Rockford trolley will be running free rides to and from Churchill’s Grove.

Check Out The Artist Directory

Rockford Art Museum has provided an incredible artist directory outlining every artistic vendor, their primary medium, and location.  Be sure to take a look at the list and if you have time, look at the artists’ websites.  Five artists have generously donated works of art to be raffled off ($5 per ticket, $10 for three) throughout the fair. The drawing will be at 4 PM on Sunday and If you won one of these pieces, it would be a steal!

Arrive Thirsty and Hungry

There are several options to satisfy your thirst and hungry.  Get ready for this list: Java Mania Coffee Roastery, Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza, We-B-Popp’N Kettle Korn, Hey Brothers Ice Cream & Waffle Cones, Pig Minds Brewery, Annette’s Italian Cookies, Cacaocuvee, Dip’ N Good Dips, Wind Ridge Herb Farm, and there will be brunch items offered both Saturday and Sunday mornings, which include omelets, crepes, baked goods and MIMOSAS.

Bring Your Kids (both human and K-9)

Rumor has it, the Creations by Kids AKA the “Superhero Station” is going to be better than ever with several art activities for kids.  Plus, children under 12 receive FREE admission.  Also, be sure to bring your (leashed) pup to with you as you walk around the fair.  The dogs are welcome too!

Stay Late

The fair technically closes at 6 PM on Saturday, but the party must go on.  Stay afterwards for drinks, dancing, and dining at the Point Bar.  You won’t regret it.

See you all there!



Guide to Main Street Market


Grab your friends and a good pair of walking shoes! It’s time for another Main Street Market hosted by Urban Farmgirl. This one-of-a-kind, enormous event, draws attendees and over 125 vendors from all over the Midwest. Not only is it a great shopping opportunity, but it is also an opportunity to explore the Victorian Village at Midway Village Museum.

As any good local, lifestyle blogger would do, we have put together a guide to the market to ensure maximum enjoyment!

Tour Your Home
Walk through your house or apartment with a friend or significant other and take note of blank walls, empty shelves or rooms where you have always wanted a cool piece of furniture. Liz, for example, would like to find a nightstand to replace her clunky file cabinet where she rests her phone and glass of water every night. Emily, would like to find items for her daughter’s “big girl” room. Think about what kind of things could fill those spaces, and then start to visit the websites, Facebook pages and Instagram feeds of those vendors who will be attending the show. Knowing what you are looking for will help keep you focused at the market.

Review Your Calendar
Take a look at your calendar for the next few months. Are there any birthdays, weddings, showers or other special events approaching for which you might need to bring a gift? The market will be full of unique, handmade gifts.

Think BIG
Do not worry about borrowing a friend’s pickup truck or minivan to bring home furniture. Two Men and a Truck will be available to bring your large treasures to your home! If you live within 20 miles, they will bring home your items for just $25 per piece! If you live further than 20 miles away, they will still bring it, but regular rates apply. This is an awesome, new service that could change the way we shop!

Be Early. Be Patient. Be Kind.
Like we said, this event draws a HUGE crowd. Whether or not you have your tickets, there will be a long line in the morning to get in, so grab your coffee and your Instagram feed on your phone, and wait patiently. And remember, while this may feel like survival of the fastest at times, the event is meant to be enjoyable, so be kind to your fellow shoppers and to the vendors!

Bring Your Appetite                                                                                                                                                   About a dozen local food and drink vendors will be onsite to keep you hydrated and well-nourished.  With items like coffee cake, popcorn, sandwiches, flavored ice, roasted corn, and refreshing beverages, you and your friends are all bound to find something that suits your tastes.

Brag About Your Finds
Take photos of your finds and tag the vendors. It’s a great way to show them what you love, and it helps support their business so that they can continue to create awesome stuff. Plus, after a day of shopping, finding a treasure is fun to share!

It is going to be a GORGEOUS weekend ahead of us, so we hope you can support these local vendors and attend the market. We’d love to see what you find! Tag us at @stateandeight in your Facebook and Insta photos!



Eight in the Eight-September 2016


Shop the Blocks-Downtown Rockford
When: Friday, September 2, 2016

The last shop the blocks of the year will take place is happening THIS weekend.  Businesses in the downtown area will offer sidewalk sales and alfresco dining. Local businesses are planning to pull out all the stops for the last event of the year.  For updates, check out their Facebook page.

Wings of Wonder: The Lorikeet Exhibit-Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
When: Begins September 3-November 13, 2016

The Lorikeets are back! The Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens are offering a close-up look at these beautiful, curious, nectar-feeding birds.  The lorikeets are known for their playful personalities, vibrant coloration, and their ability to mimic words and sounds. This would be a great activity for all ages. Entrance to the exhibit is included with admission to the Conservatory.                            

Labor Day Parade-Downtown Rockford
When: Monday, September 5, 2016

Come show your love for our fine country at the Labor Day Parade in downtown Rockford.  With a new route this year, the parade begins at 10:00 am at the corner of 6th Avenue and 7th Street heading north; turns west onto State Street; turns south onto Wyman Street and ends at Davis Park.  Enjoy your long weekend (we hope!) and kick off your holiday at the parade!

A Night of Art and Craft (Beer)-Severson Dells Nature Center
When: Friday, September 9, 2016 6:30-9:30pm

An evening of craft beer drinking and crafting at Severson Dells Nature Center! Each participant will be guided in creating an original nature-themed painting on canvas. Come as you are, no experience necessary for this fun evening of hands-on creativity and celebration. You can participate in A Night of Art and Craft (Beer) for just $30, and you will be provided with all art supplies, great appetizers and two drinks.

Screw City Beer Festival-Downtown Rockford
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016

If you are one of the lucky ones to have scored Screw City Beer Fest tickets, then you could very well be the envy of all your friends.  The 6th annual SCBF is technically sold out, but The Olympic Tavern is doing some SCBF ticket events in the next week where you could get some last minute tickets.  SCBF will host over 50 American craft breweries and pour over 130 different beers to 2500 craft beer enthusiasts. Hope to see you downtown!

Main Street Market by Urban Farmgirl-Midway Village Museum
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016

If you missed the spring market, be SURE to head over to the fall edition of the Main Street Market.  Over 100 vendors from across the Midwest will be displaying goods of all kinds along with food and local music.  Tickets are available for $8 a piece in advance here.

Greenwich Village Art Fair-Rockford Art Museum Grounds
When: Saturday, September 17, 2016 & Sunday, September 18, 2016

Greenwich Village Art Fair is definitely one of our favorite annual events, featuring 136 artists, live music, a gourmet marketplace, children’s art activities, and more.  Not only are the vendors incredible, but the food and drink options get better every year. Admission at the gate is $5 for adults, free for children 12 and younger. Advance tickets are $3 and are available at any Alpine Bank location and at the Rockford Art Museum Store. Ticket proceeds support RAM programs throughout the year.

Picnic En Plein Air Community Dinner-City Market Pavilion 
When: Saturday, September 24, 2016 6-9pm

The River District Association has planned an awesome community dinner downstairs along our beautiful river front. Picnic En Plein Air will feature an  Americana and Rustic/Vintage style evening of outdoor dining catered by  Paul Sletten, owner of Abreo, and bar service will be provided by Prairie Street Brewhouse. Local artists will be creating original artwork throughout the night which will be auctioned off to help with future RDA events and programs.

Happy September!