ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- When we think of Labor Day weekend, most people in the Rockford area think of On the Waterfront, but this is the first year in nearly three decades that the music festival won't be happening. We spoke with one woman who has been volunteering since the very first On the Waterfront.
Carol Wright sorts through her box of memories from On the Waterfront. She's been volunteering since the first festival, which began in 1984.
"It was just fun and exciting and we got done and we're sitting there exhausted on Sunday after cleanup and it was like 'what just happened,'" said Wright.
There would be nearly 30 more years of much bigger clean-up efforts, as the Stateline's largest music festival grew in numbers.
Wright explains, "They expanded it the second year and actually went farther up and included more streets and it just got bigger and bigger after that."
Wright has met thousands of volunteers and she's seen hundreds of acts. And remember when a button could get us in the gates? Well Wright has seen dozens of those too, starting with the very first button
that's seen its wear and tear.
"It's bittersweet; it's sad that it's gone but it's 29 years of great memories," says Wright.
Wright recalls one specific memory, "On Friday night and they'd say across the radio, it's 5pm and gates are open, you'd just lose your breath and I would walk around, it was just fabulous, I would cry."
On the Waterfront shut down this year due to smaller crowds and a lack of funding.