West Rock Wake Park Opens

By: Shannon Smith, Jessica Geraci
By: Shannon Smith, Jessica Geraci
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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's the first of it's kind in Northern Illinois and it's right on Rockford's west side. The city's newest wake park opened Friday.

"I want to try it now."

10-year-old Ronald Miller says he's ready to ride the waves at Levings Lake.

"Have you ever done anything like this before or any water sports? No," said Miller.

Miller says he won't be trying any tricks like the pros here at the west rock wake park, however he's already taking tips from his friend Cole Olson, who's been wake boarding for the last 6 years.

"Like the best part is having fun like trying new tricks and they put in kickers and all that, they put in jumps rails. I wanna try those tomorrow I've never tried it before," said Cole Olson.

There's a first time for everything, just ask Aldermen Venita Hervey who tested the waters during the opening ceremony. Even though it just opened to the public, the park is already bringing in out of towners, like Frankie Panno whose been riding for 30 years. He says this is the first time at the wake park, but it isn't his last.

"Oh I will be back all of the time because it's a hometown kind of thing for me we've needed a cable park here in Chicago for many many years its cool now that it's finally happening," said Panno.

"For me it's amazing that you get to push the sport with people that would probably never get a chance to actually go out and do it."

People like Ronald who are willing to take a chance with a new adventure.

The park is open daily from 11 to 7.


UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – If we want to beat the heat and try a new way to cool off this summer, we can learn how to wake board and water ski at Levings Lake Wake Park.

The West Rock Wake Park is the first of its kind for our area. Today is the opening ceremony for West Rock Wake Park at Levings Lake where people can enjoy a fun and different kind of experience.

If it’s your first time, there’s also a line for beginners. Organizers say they hope the more than $150,000 project will help bring more tourists to the city’s west side.

There’s eight operators available to teach and help riders. It costs $20 to ride for an hour and $30 for two hours. All you’re required to bring is a suit and a towel.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The new West Rock Wake Park at Levings Lake is almost ready to open.

This is the first of its kind in our area. Riders are pulled across the lake by a cable suspended over the water. Teachers are testing out the equipment and the park should open in early August.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A new water attraction is coming to Rockford’s west side and it’s the first of its kind in Northern Illinois.

Learning water sports may have just gotten cheaper for our families as a wake park is coming to Levings Lake in Rockford. The new attraction could also bring in a few jobs to the area as well.

The West Rock Wake Park is one of the first of its kind in Northern Illinois. It’ll cost us about $20 to learn to water ski or wake board.

It’s something 9-year-old Tyree Ellis says he’s excited to try with his family this summer.

“I think it’s easy. All you have to do is hold onto the little rope," Ellis said.

The program’s owner, Daniel Jarrett says he wants to offer more than just water sports.

“We want to provide a handful of jobs for younger kids in the area.”

Crews are mapping out plans for the new attraction which is expected to open this summer. Jarrett says the more than $150,000 project will help bring in more tourists to the city’s west side. “The western location is a good one right off US 20 and for this community because we’re going to be having people coming from the Chicago suburbs, from Madison, Milwaukee. That’s our hope.”

A rep from the Park District says this project won’t cost taxpayers. The new attraction is paid for by the city and the program owners.

We’re told the water sports program is eco-friendly and won’t interfere with other events at the lake. Its expected to open July 1, 2014.


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