8 in the Eight – August 2017

Can you believe it is already August?! As we mentioned in the latest post, we have had a summer packed with fun, and we are ready to keep the momentum going.

Festa Italiana @ Boylan Catholic High Catholic High School Ground
When: Thursday, August 3-Sunday, August 6

If you love Italian food, bocce, music, and spending summer evenings outdoors, Festa Italiana is a fun family event. The event started as a big annual Italian “family” reunion where all Rockford Italian families could gather and party every year, and expanded to include the whole community. Put on your stretchy pants and head on over for some wine and pasta.

Rockvinia @ Rockford Country Club
When: Friday, August 4 @ 5:00 PM

Sometimes we get that feeling of envy when our Chicago friends can so easily go to Ravinia shows in the city. Northern Illinois Hospice came up with a brilliant fundraiser to put our FOMO at bay with Rockvinia. Rockford Country Club will host Rockvinia this year featuring Kelly Steward and Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts. Get there nice and early for open seating.

Boone & Winnebago Counties Fair @ Boone & Winnebago County Fairgrounds
When: Boone-August 8-13 & Winnebago-August 16-20

If you were born and raised in the 815, it’s probably safe to say that the mention of a county fair triggers a radio jingle in your head with the voice of a female country singer proclaiming that she can’t wait for the Winnebago County Fair. The Winnebago and Boone County Fairs are a fun option for some traditional fairground eats (we love us some funnel cakes and elephant ears), unique agriculture accomplishments (have you seen the size of some of those squash?!) and people watching (make sure you go to a demolition derby at a local fair at least once in your life).

Rockford Day
When: Tuesday, August 15

Last year, the city celebrated Rockford Day for the first time. 815 area code on 8/15. Get it? We wrote a post about it last year, and we will for sure be hitting up local sales in our 815 t-shirts.

Rocktown Brewdown @ Rural On Tap
When: Saturday, August 19 @ 4:00 PM

Rockford’s newest craft beer event is the Rocktown Brewdown featuring over 25 brewers and over 100 brews and ciders. If you are like us and didn’t get a ticket to the Screw City Beer Festival in the 35 minutes that they were available, check out this new event!

Glow in the Garden 5K @ Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
When: Saturday, August 19 at 8:00 PM

An initial reaction to the title of this 5K run triggers the fear of a rolled ankle, but the Glow in the Garden 5K actually takes place on a flat, scenic route along the Rock River illuminated by the Bruce Munro light exhibit. Dress yourself from head to toe in glow in the dark for this fun run and the post-race Moonlight Mixer.

Rock River Anything That Floats Race
When: Sunday, August 20 at 10:00 AM

The Rock River Anything That Floats Race is a fun 1.65 mile race on the Rock River that triggers your creative, competitive and survival skills. The day starts with kayak, canoe and stand-up paddle board races down the river, followed by the raft race, a rubber duck drop race and a post-part at Prairie Street Brewhouse. This event is not just for participants – community members are encourage to set up along the river to cheer on the contestants!

The Local: Burpee Summer Festival @ Burpee Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, August 26 @ 6:00 PM

Enjoy a summer evening on the riverfront at The Local, an event that provides a taste of Rockford’s finest local restaurants, pizzerias, craft breweries, vineyards and local bands. The Local is the Burpee Museum’s largest fundraising event and proceeds go toward educational programs, new exhibits, operational costs and upgrades to the museum.

Enjoying Summer in the 815!

Hi All!

You may have noticed that we have been a bit MIA over here the past month or so.  It’s not because of lack of motivation or desire to write some cool posts, it’s just because we have been so busy enjoying all the 815 has to offer.  So, while this isn’t extensive, I wanted to give you some insight as to what we have been busy doing and know that we will continue to enjoy the summer and be back soon!

Here is what we have been up to:

Liz and I got to enjoy a rare (for me) night out at Josef’s to take part in one of their many tasting events.  We enjoyed some delicious Champagne and apps…so good!

Attended The Discovery Center’s “Hello from Japan!” exhibit and my three year old daughter LOVES it.  She has already been three times!

FINALLY tried 15th and Chris for the first time!  Stop what you are doing and GO. RIGHT. NOW.

Enjoyed Dockside Live at PSB for the first time and of course, had dinner and a cocktail.

Checked out La Fiesta Candies a new ice cream and candy place. They are serving up Chocolate Shoppe ice cream from Wisconsin and it is delish!

Solving the world’s problems in the tunnel at the new park on the bike path.  If you have a kiddo between the ages of 2 and 5, check it out!

Attended Groovin’ in the Garden for the first time and will go whenever we can.  Beautiful scenery at Anderson Japanese Garden and a great program for the young ones! There is one more performance on August 11 and we will be there!

Checked out the Summerfield Zoo in Belvidere for the first time.  While it might not have the wow factor for older kids, it was great for our three year old daughter and definitely scratched her zoo “itch.”  Perhaps the highlight of the day was lunch at Taqueria El Molcajete in downtown Belvidere.  Can’t wait to go back.  SO. GOOD.

Fun at the library happens weekly!

Running (er, walking?) along the bike path and doing the loop!

And perhaps my favorite thing…just being out and about in the 815 with my family.  We have been taking advantage of the city market, farmer’s markets, parks, museums, and restaurants all summer and I simply don’t want it to end!

What have you all been doing this summer that you would recommend?

Best Patios in the Eight-Take Two!

We know the first official day of summer isn’t until tomorrow, but if you are like us, you have been trying to get outside as much as possible and enjoy the al fresco dining experiences the 815 has to offer.  We originally published this post about a year ago, but we decided to update it with two new patios and remove one (Bamboo) that has turned into a food truck.  We believe these patios are worthy of your time this summer.  The updates to our original post are italicized

My fellow Rockfordians, now is the time.  Time to let your limbs breath, shade those eyes, lather on the sunscreen (if you are like me) and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.  That is right…it is patio time.  As we midwesterners know, there are only so many warm, blue sky days throughout the year, so why waste that time eating and drinking inside?   Would you love to enjoy the fresh air, but do not know where to start? Well, I have put together a list of ten (now 11) places to dine and enjoy a drink (or two) al fresco in the Rock. Bon Appetit!

 Source: Owly Oop

Owly Oop

Let me let you in on a little secret…the patio at Owly Oop has one of the THE. BEST. VIEWS in Rockford.  If you are lucky enough to get a spot outside, you will most likely want to stick around for awhile.  Cheese Curds and a West Coast IPA please…

     Source: Josef Barbados

Josef Barbados

Who would have thought that a restaurant off of Spring Creek & Perryville, would have such a beautiful outdoor space?  Not me!  But, when Liz and I went to a champagne tasting at Josef’s a couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to step outside and were pleasantly surprised at the gorgeous setting, with beautiful tables, comfortable seating, and the perfect amount of sun and shade.  

brewhouse-docks    Source: Prairie Street Brewing Company

Prairie Street Brewing Company

Enjoy the Dockside Tap Room on the lower level of PSB and take advantage of dining on their beautiful riverside dock seven days a week.  In addition, every Thursday (starting tonight!) be sure to check out Dinner on the Dock at PSB for great food and live music.  If you are one of the lucky people in the world to own a boat,  cruise on over to the marina and enjoy the music from the water.

The OT   Source: The Olympic Tavern

The Olympic Tavern

The Olympic Tavern has a large patio with seating for parties of all sizes, great lighting, occasionally an outdoor bar, and even events for your four-legged friends on Monday nights.  That’s right, every Monday evening (during the warmer months) check out Pints for Pups, and enjoy drink specials for humans and treats by The Canine Crunchery for the K-9s.

Fresco Source: Fresco

Fresco at the Gardens

I professed my love for Fresco even before I had the opportunity to sit outside  on the gorgeous patio overlooking Anderson Gardens.  When sitting on this deck, you almost forget you are in Northern Illinois.  Give me one of Fresco’s delicious cocktails and I’m set.

Lucha CantinaSource: Lucha Cantina

Lucha Cantina

The patio at Lucha Cantina offers large round tables (my favorites) with umbrellas (clutch!) and delicious food.  The photo above is making me want to run over there right now and grab  a homemade margarita and their taco of the month–pork belly al pastor with piña poblano slaw.  Yum.

Abreo 2Source: Abreo


Abreo has one of the most well-established patios in town, and that is evident when you are sitting in their beautiful setting among all the vines and greenery.  The folks at Abreo certainly don’t overlook any details when it comes to their culinary delights (amazing food!) and that’s the case for their outdoor space as well.

Garrett'sSource: Garrett’s Restaurant and Bar


Whether or not you love golf, Garrett’s has a spacious patio overlooking The Golf Shack driving range.  Grab a bucket of golf balls and enjoy a lovely evening (or lunch break) taking some practice swings and feasting on food and drink specials.

Kuma'sSource: Kuma’s Asian Bistro

Kuma’s Asian Bistro

Kuma’s is another well-established al fresco outdoor dining  venue in the the heart of the city.  In fact, Kuma’s was one of the first restaurants downtown to offer outdoor dining options.  Sitting on State St. with a friend or loved one is a great way to spend an evening.

OctaneSource: Octane Interlounge

Octane Interlounge

Octane is vibing with us on some patio love right now.  Octane’s patio is ideal because of its great downtown location and people watching.  Hawaii 5-0 burrito and a glass of seasonal sangria, please!

Der Rathskeller Source: Der Rathskeller

Der Rathskeller

The biergarten at Der Rathskeller has become a favorite dining destination in Rockford, especially for the nearby residents.  While sitting in the biergarten, it is hard to believe you are at the corner of a major intersection – North Main and Auburn streets.  With hearty lunch specials and delicious German beers, head over to Der Rathskeller and spend the afternoon.

On a side note, we are REALLY looking forward to trying out the rooftop at The Standard and Taco Betty’s, we just haven’t gotten there quite yet!  Any other patios we should know about?


815-Rockford’s Magazine-Summer Edition

Hey all! We hope you are staying cool during these hot days. We know one way we like to cool off is with a few cold brews. In the latest edition of the 815 magazine, we are discussing local craft brew options. Here is a peak at our latest article in The Rockford Register Star’s 815 magazine.

Last summer we took our blog followers on a tour of ice cream spots in the 815. This summer, we plan to take State & Eight readers on a tour of breweries. The growth of craft breweries across the country is not unique to big cities — it is prevalent in urban and rural areas alike. Northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin are no exception.

The latest issue of 815 magazine features a range of experience levels of summer activities, and we will kick it off with our list of nearby breweries we plan to explore this summer. Join us at right here as we taste the best beers brewed in our region.

Prairie Street Brewing Co. is probably one of the most well-known brewing operations in downtown Rockford. With two locations on the Rock River at Prairie Street Brewhouse and Owly Oop Sports Pub in the UW Health Sports Factory, these local microbrews are served with a view.

For Rockford beer drinkers, Carlyle Brewing Co. laid the foundation for drinking local. Recognized as the original microbrewery in the 815, Carlyle has a cozy setting and keeps a keen focus on producing the best quality beers. Its intimate beer garden is an ideal summer happy hour stop in the heart of downtown Rockford.

Pig Minds Brewing Co. in Machesney Park has not only established itself as a sophisticated brewery featuring a flavorful vegan food menu, but it has also distributed its beer in local liquor stores, bars and restaurant. Pig Minds’ clever brew names such as Death Grip and Blue Collar are also a testament to their creative company identity. And if bicycling is your thing, there is a dedicated following of Rockford cyclists who have mapped their way to the brewery for a fun weekend adventure with a mid-ride reward.

A short drive from the Rockford area takes beer drinkers to some great breweries in the outlying towns. One of our favorites is Generations Brewing Co. in Freeport. On many local restaurant and bar menus, you may find the Pretzel City Amber beer. This smooth, tasty brown ale is a favorite of ours, and this summer we plan to venture to Freeport to try the ale fresh from the source. Generations features movie nights and bring-your-own-meat grill nights on their patio throughout the summer.

Lena Brewing Co., located in Lena, is another growing brewery that hosts a number of fun events throughout the year involving beer. From yoga and beer events to beer dinner pairings, this brewery has a little something for everyone. In addition to their tap room, Lean Brewing also features party packages ideal for birthday, work, bachelor and bachelorette parties.

An up-and-coming local brewery, also located in Lena, is Wishful Acres Brewing. For years Wishful Acres has been known for its huge selection of organic produce, including hops, and it has recently grown into a craft brewery and tap room. They have a huge tap list with a variety of beers. This stop is definitely on our brewery tour list this summer, too.

We would be remiss to not mention the great beer festivals in the area this summer, too. The Ballpark Ale Fest (June 3) at Rivets Stadium, Screw City Beer Festival (Sept. 9) in downtown Rockford and Pretzel City Brewfest (Sept. 16) in downtown Freeport are awesome outdoor events featuring everything from home brewers to larger Chicago and Milwaukee breweries. Check their Facebook pages to find out when tickets go on sale.

Cheers to a great summer!


8 in the Eight – June 2017

June is off to a beautiful start, and there are a ton of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beginning of summer in the 815.

Rockford Sharefest @ Levings Park
When: June 2-10

Every year Rockford Sharefest lead projects around the community that empower and release volunteers to use their time and talents to make an impact for the common good. This year, Sharefest has partnered with the Rockford Park District to help restore and beautify Levings Park. Grab a group of friends and sign-up to volunteer.

Ballpark Ale Fest @ Rivets Stadium
When: Saturday, June 3

Ballpark Ale Fest brings together some American summer classics of beer, baseball and classic ballpark eats. This is the second year for the Ballpark Ale Fest, and it will feature 80+ beers from around the country. You can purchase your tickets in advance here.

Bruce Munro: LIGHT Exhibit @ Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
When: Daily, June 3-November 5

If you have walked, biked, run, or driven by the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens in the past month, you have likely noticed the Bruce Munro: LIGHT Exhibit install taking place.  The kickoff to the exhibit starts this weekend and we. are. pumped. The conservatory will now stay open until 11:00 PM every night so viewers can take full advantage of the nighttime, light experience.  It doesn’t matter if you walk, bike, run, or drive to get there…just get there!

Intro to SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) @ Rocktown Adventures
When: Sunday, June 4

If you don’t yet follow Rocktown Adventures on Facebook, you should definitely go like their page. They offer so many awesome courses, including intro classes for beginners. Stand Up Paddleboarding is an art, and these guys will teach you how to master it in this class.

Beauty & the Beast @ Starlight Theatre
When: Wednesday, June 7-Sunday, June 11

As we know, Beauty & the Beast is all the rage this year, and if you are itching to see the show live and in-person, then check out the production at Starlight Theatre this month and next month! We love seeing a show under the stars at Starlight, and Beauty & the Beast is sure to impress.  Get your tickets here.

Ladies Only Champagne, Cava, & Prosecco Tasting @ Josef Barbados
When: Thursday, June 8 @ 6:00 PM

While we both love a good beer or wine tasting, this sparkly tasting event had us at champagne. The tasting is paired with light appetizers and desserts.  Because seating is limited, we would encourage you to call now for a reservation for what is sure to be an awesome Thursday night!

Harry Potter Pub Trivia @ The Olympic Tavern
When: Tuesday, June 20

How many times have you read the Harry Potter series? It’s time to show off your knowledge at trivia night. Groups of no more than 5 people are welcome, and The Olympic says this is for advanced level fans, so brush up. Capes are optional.

Art in Bloom @ Rockford Art Museum
When: Tuesday, June 27-Thursday, June 29

Check out this three-day event at the Rockford Art Museum as works of art from the RAM Collection are creatively interpreted through flowers and other organic material. Experience imaginative installations by talented local designers, as well as unique demonstrations, workshops and programs throughout the event. Workshops over the three days include floral photography, blooms & baskets, and summer succulent centerpieces.  Be sure to visit the RAM website to see a full listing and to create an Art in Bloom itinerary!

The Parlour-Barber Shop + Haberdashery

Hello friends! We hope you all had a great weekend celebrating the important women in your life and enjoyed the PERFECT weather.  If you have been following State & Eight for awhile, you may have noticed that we have highlighted some of our favorite places for women to get pampered with nails, hair, and brows. With that being said, Liz and I were thinking that we don’t spend a whole lot of time highlighting the unique things for men to take advantage of in the 815.  So, I decided to follow my hubby’s best buddy, Matt, to The Parlour-Barber Shop + Habedasery and got a chance to chat with owner, Tony Leon, while Matt got a cut.

The Parlour is first and foremost, a barbershop.  However, when I walked in and spoke with Tony, it is obviously much more than that.  The Parlour is “a place where a man can come to look his best from head to toe.” Men can treat themselves to various haircuts, shaves, beard trims, charcoal masks and wait for it…nose hair wax removal!  Men-you don’t have to tell anyone you did it, just do it and Tony says, “you won’t regret it.”

Born and raised in Rockford, Tony wanted to be a part of the revitalization of downtown (The Parlour is located at 412 E. State Street) and thought there was a whole in the market for men.  After going to barber school, Tony opened the business and it has been booming ever since.  In fact, if you are looking to get an appointment, Tony is booking 4-6 weeks in advance for evening appointments and 2-3 weeks for day appointments.  Currently, Tony is a one-man-show when it comes to services (though his wife and son help a lot!), but once his wife Sarah completes her barber schooling, they will both be taking appointments.

When I asked Tony what he enjoys the most, he said it’s definitely the shaves.  I should also mention that one REALLY cool thing The Parlour does is wedding parties.  I, like most of you, most often think of the women in the wedding party getting their hair and make-up done together on the big day.  But, why should the women have all the fun? (Did I really just say that?) Men can get beautified too!  Tony says they frequently have the groom and his men in the shop getting cuts and shaves on the big day while they all get ready, take photos, and have a (maybe a few?) drinks.  I think if I was getting married again (to my husband!), my husband would be all over this.

Lastly, I want to mention that The Parlour also sells raw denim, shirts, grooming products, and tons of accessories.  All in all, this is just a cool place to hang out.  If you haven’t been, I highly recommend checking out their website (it’s one of the coolest I have seen) to see everything they offer, follow them on Facebook, and check them out on Instagram.

Thanks to Tony for chatting with me and to Matt for letting me tag along while he got a fresh ‘do!


Eight in the Eight – May 2017

Fiesta Fun Run @ Fleet Feet Sports Rockford
When: May 4th at 6PM

This free and fun 5K run event is featured by the new Fleet Feet Sports in Rockford. Get in a neighborhood run with some friends and reward yourself with an end at Lucha Cantina for some complimentary chips and salsa.

Churchill’s Grove and Edgewater Neighborhood Garage Sales
When: May 6th from 8am-5pm

You might remember our guide to the Churchill’s Grove Garage Sale from last year. This year, the Edgewater Neighborhood will host one the same weekend. This mega joint garage sale should not be missed. Grab your friends and your fanny pack and make a fun weekend of the event.

Rockford Peaches Baseball Game @ Midway Village Museum                                                               When: May 7th from 1:00-3:00pm

Celebrate the opening of the Victorian Village and watch the living history Rockford Peaches Baseball Team  play an historical game. Spectators are free with the regular admission price to the museum.

Rockford’s Best Dish @ Giovanni’s
When: May 10th from 5:30-8pm

Deemed the premier competition for Rockford area restaurants, Rockford’s Best Dish is a fundraiser for the local Meals on Wheels organization. Sample from amazing vendors and vote on your favorite dish.

Rent 20th Anniversary Tour @ Coronado Performing Arts Center
When: May 18th at 7:30pm

The Tony award winning musical Rent is twenty years old, which makes us feel….well, old. Despite the aging anxiety, we are super excited that the show will be on tour this month and will make a stop at the Coronado.

Main Street Market @ Midway Village Museum
When: May 20th at 9am

Will we ever tire of the Main Street Market?  We don’t think so!  We enjoy this event so much, you may remember we put together a Guide to the Main Street Market last year.  We recommend getting tickets in advance and you can do so here.  After so much spring cleaning, we are hoping we can find some great pieces for our homes.

Rockford Marathon @ Davis Park                                                                                                             When: May 21st at 6am

We don’t think either one of us will be ready to run the half or the full marathon (maybe next year?!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t head downtown to cheer on the incredible runners! The Rockford Marathon is celebrating its 10th birthday and drawing sprinters from nearly 20 states, the course route is along the scenic Rock River. Runners of all skill levels are invited to participate!

Here Come the Mummies Block Party @ District Bar & Grill
When: May 27th at 6pm

If you are into funk music and enjoy a good outdoor concert, this is your event.  Enjoy the long weekend with a live show and get your tickets here.

People of the 8-Katie

We are back with a new People of the 8 post!  It is a pleasure for me to introduce you to my favorite hair dresser (yes, she is mine) and all-around wonderful person, Katie Erickson.  Hope you all are having a great week!

Meet Katie

Name: Katie Erickson

Age You Feel: 25

What do you love most about your neighborhood? Having just moved from Rock River Towers downtown (which we loved!), I love that we are in the middle of Rockford (off of Spring Creek), but still feel like we have a lot of green space and are secluded.

What do you do for a living? I am a hair dresser and make-up artist at Fringe.

What’s your favorite thing to do professionally?  Unlike a lot of hair dressers, my favorite thing are bridal up-dos–I also love being a part of the big day!

How long have you lived in Rockford? My whole life. Born and raised.

What makes you stay? Definitely, my family.

What are your plans this weekend?  I work most Saturdays and then my fiance and I will be going to Woodfield to do some spring shopping.

What’s the one thing you wish Rockford had that is doesn’t? Trader Joe’s!

What do you love most about Rockford? The Rockford City Market.

If I were to buy you a drink, what and where would it be? A Moscow Mule at Octane.

Dinner? Marc’s Fusion.

Breakfast? Eggsclusive Cafe 2.

Where do you grocery shop? Woodmans

Eight in the Eight-April 2017

Happy April! How is it already four days into the month already? In case you missed our Facebook post, Emily became mother to baby #2 in March, and both mom and Baby Rose are doing wonderfully!

Election Day @ Your Local Polling Place
When: Today (April 4th)! 6am-7pm

You get the hint – we are big advocates of participating in your local elections. In case you missed it, here is our introduction to the Rockford Mayoral candidates: Brian, Ronnie, Tom and Rudy. Exercise your right to vote and find your polling place here.

Alton Brown: Eat Your Science Tour @ The Coronado Performing Arts Center
When: Wednesday, April 5 @ 7:30pm

Combining comedy and food, Alton Brown, food show host and TV personality, will provide a night of entertainment at The Coronado. If you’re a lucky audience member, you may even get called up to the stage to participate in games and demonstrations. You can get your tickets to the Eat Your Science Tour here.

Red Shoe Run for Donor Awareness @ NIU Rockford
When: Saturday, April 8 @ 8:00am

Not only are the addition of 5Ks and other local runs a welcoming sign of warmer weather, they are also a great opportunity to break out of the winter rut to support a good cause. The Red Shoe Run for Donor Awareness celebrates National Donate Life month, increase donations of organs, tissue, eye, blood, and marrow, and to raise money. Register here for this fun run.

76th Young Artist’s Show @ Rockford Art Museum
When: April 9th – May 7th

One of the most popular annual exhibits at the Rockford Art Museum returns this month. The 76th Young Artist’s Show is a highly competitive juried show featuring students from all schools in the area. Spend an afternoon enjoying the talent of local youth while supporting the local arts.                                                        

Easter Egg Hunts @ Various Locations                                                                                                           When: Saturday, April 15

What would this time of year be without a good ole’ Easter Egg Hunt? There are hunts happening in neighborhoods like Edgewater and places such as the Discovery Center Museum and Burpee Museum of Natural History.  We will cross our fingers for nice weather, Reese’s, and $2 bills.

Brews & Views @ Prairie Street Brewing Company                                                                                     When: Wednesday, April 19 @ 7:30pm

The Brews & Views 2016/2017 season comes to an end with the viewing of “The Great Outdoors” at PSB.  Enjoy your favorite craft beers and great food from a full menu, delivered to your table, while you watch the film! Doors open at 7pm, and Showtime is at 7:30, so arrive early to be sure you get a great seat. Admission is $5.

Spring Art Scene @ Downtown Rockford                                                                                                         When: Friday, April 21 from 5:00pm-9:00pm & Saturday, April 22 from 4:00pm-9:00pm

The Rockford Area Arts Council is back at it with the Spring 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 and shows.

An Evening with David Sedaris @ The Coronado Performing Arts Center                                         When: Monday, April 24 @ 8:00pm

If you like to laugh (who doesn’t?), you will LOVE David Sedaris.  Sedaris is witty, funny, bright, and the master of satire.  We are thrilled the Coronado is hosting David Sedaris and this show will actually make us look forward to a Monday.  Tickets are still available here.



Meet the Mayoral Candidate-Rudy Valdez

Just like that, we are featuring our fourth and final Meet the Mayoral Candidate.  In case you haven’t been checking in this week, on Monday we featured the Republican candidate, Brian Leggero, on Tuesday we featured one of the Independent candidates, Ronnie Manns, yesterday we featured the Democratic candidate, Tom McNamara, and last but not least, we are featuring Independent candidate, Rudy Valdez.

What is your morning routine?                                                                                                                             I get up at around 5:00am, read the paper and check social media before getting ready for the morning activities, which have lately been a meeting/event before going to work by 8:30am.

How do you take your coffee?                                                                                                                               I don’t drink coffee, it keeps me awake lol. I usually drink water in the morning.

When you are not running for mayor, what do you do?                                                                             I work at an aerospace company and I also volunteer in many organizations. On weekends I spend time with my wife and grandkids.

Fun Fact                                                                                                                                                                       My wife was my boss when we went to University of Illinois at Chicago. A couple of years later we married and I broke my leg parasailing on the first day of our honeymoon at Cancun.

What do you think is the best kept secret in Rockford?                                                                   Levings Lake!

Who should we call for a reference?                                                                                                       Victory Bell, former 38 year alderman for the 5th Ward

What is your favorite, annual, Rockford event?                                                                                       The Midtown Ethnic Parade and Festival – I was one of the original organizers, which was led by Dori Kearney.

What was the last movie you saw in the theater?                                                                             Hidden Figures – It was extra special because of my years working on the US Space program.

Who is winning your March Madness bracket?                                                                                     UCLA

Why should Rockford hire you?                                                                                                                             –I have a unique combination of skills, background and experiences that can help make Rockford greater for all its residents.

-I have run organizations for the US Space Program at Hamilton Sundstrand that were four times larger than the $134M city budget.

-I established award winning teams that were recognized by NASA.

-My educational background includes BS in Chemical Engineering, and MBA, and a Doctor of Management, including a CFO certification.

-My broad community service allows me to derive solution by viewing problems from different perspectives.

-I have been actively involved with community organizations for decades and received many recognitions, including the Excalibur award.

-I love this city and want it to be the best sought-after city in the country! We need to think big and take bold actions.

For more information about Rudy, check out http://www.rockford4rudy.com/ or his Facebook page.

We hope you have enjoyed our getting to know the candidates in a different way.  Most importantly, be sure to cast your vote on or before Tuesday, April 4th!