Love the Blocks kicks off in downtown Rockford

ROCKFORD, Ill -- (WIFR) As one of the restaurants participating in this year's "Love the Blocks", District Bar and Grill General Manager Dustin DiBenedetto says this is an exciting time each year. With many other downtown businesses and restaurants involved, this year's event is different than year's past.

DiBenedetto says, ""It's a pretty cool thing that we can actually get people down here, get people involved in downtown, RDA, and just businesses. It all goes back to United Way. So each person is giving a percentage of the proceeds that they're making that day, that's what we're doing down here."

With the United Way of Rock River Valley partnership, The River District Association is inviting people to shop, dine, and enjoy downtown Rockford just in time for Valentine's Day, knowing it will be for a good cause. Linda Sandquist, Vice President of United Way Rock River Valley says she is exciting for this new partnership.

Sandquist says, "People can go to retailers and there is a tic tac toe card that they can have marked off, when they do that, they can enter a drawing."

Not only can shoppers win extra prized, they can also donate directly to the United Way by texting "LOVETHEBLOCKS" to 41444.

Sandquist says, "If they make a donation of $10 or more, they will get entered into a drawing for some prizes including things from restaurants and businesses down by the river district."

The businesses participating will donate ten percent of their earnings towards United Way, who will use the funds to continue support for local programs and non profit agencies they currently work with.

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The River District Association is partnering with the United Way to present “United We Dine, United We Shop” during this year’s Love the Blocks.

Starting Monday, February 11, and ending Saturday, February 16, participating Love the Blocks retailers will have Tic-Tac-Toe boards for customers to get stamped by a store employee. Once a customer visits three different stores and collects three stamps in a row, they can leave the card with that participating retailer and be entered into a drawing for a gift basket.

Downtown restaurants will also be participating in Love the Blocks. These restaurants will be giving back a portion of their proceeds from this day only to the United Way of Rock River Valley on behalf of the River District Association.

2019 Participating Retailers/Restaurants:

Abreo Restaurant, 515 E. State St.

Rockford Art Deli, 402 E. State St.

Social Urban Bar & Restaurant, 509 E.State St.

The FVV Shop, 328 E. State St.

The Standard, 214 E. State St.

Arch Apothecary, 214 E. State St.

Capital House, 308 W. State St.

Rocktown Adventures, 313 N. Madison St.

District Bar & Grill, 205 W. State St.

London Avenue Design, 214 E. State St.

Jimmy Johns, 308 E. State St.

RAMP, 202 Market St.

Cantina Taco, 117 S Main St.

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, 111 N. 1st St.

head to riverdistrict.com for more information!