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Stroll on State celebrations begin

Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 9:28 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A staple of holiday celebration in the Stateline kicks off, and most of the Stroll on State events will take place virtually in 2020, but many say they are still excited to celebrate the holidays this year.

“I think it’s just making the most of what you have,” Rockford resident Autumn Elrod said.

In a year filled with uncertainty, an unconventional Stroll on State begins without thousands in the streets of downtown Rockford, but with many ready to enjoy in new ways.

“It’s still just a sense of being with our family and stuff,” Lifelong Rockford resident Shawn Koukos said. “Plus we get to come to the tree and be right next to it so that’s kind of cool.”

Vice President of Marketing and Sports Development for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Nick Povalitis says the holiday celebration is much different in 2020 than in years past.

“There is no live event so to speak,” Povalitis said. “In the first 7 years of Stroll on State we’re very accustomed to bringing down thousands or tens of thousands of people downtown.”

Povalitis says Stroll on State takes on a new form to meet Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions, but there are events still taking place, like virtual meetings with Santa Claus and a virtual Dasher Dash 5k run.

“We’re trying to replicate some of the things that were used to doing in person and we know we can’t do them all,” Povalitis said.

The highlight of the night for many in the region is a firework show that lit up the sky, and some feel it is the best way to celebrate in 2020.

“It was the second-best time of my life,” Oliver Elrod said.

The RACVB did release a tweet during the firework show, letting people on the northeast and southeast side of Rockford know that the firework show was delayed at two locations by about a half-hour.

For more information about upcoming Stroll on State events click here.

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