Rockford’s Bicentennial Celebration hailed as success

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Rockford’s Bicentennial Celebration hailed as success

The Rockford 200th birthday party celebration was a fire-cracker of a success on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2019 at the community building in Rockford. The kick-off event to the 2020 year-long birthday celebration, was attended by 335 attendees, according to Dr. Jerry and Mrs. Connie Sell, who helped organize the event.

Entertainment for the evening came out of Chicago, a group called Festivities that included entertainment by the World Famous “HOWL2GO” and featured live music by the Dueling Pianos and Drums. The two pianos and drummer, had the crowd singing along to popular pop tunes including Happy Birthday to Rockford! “The Band brought a Big City Show to our small village for an amazing night of music and dancing,” stated Twyla Hayes of Brand It Marketing. Twyla, with her husband Pete at her side, emceed the event.

Attendees enjoyed soft drinks as well as beer from Second Cross Brewing, a joint business venture by three men from Rockford: Luke Clouse; Luke Stephenson and Todd McKee, and a wide array of appetizers was catered by The Rockford Carry Out and Catering of Rockford by Tom and Matt Burtch.

The Fremont Canning Company unveiled their special BICENTENNIAL labeled run of 3000 bottles of Rockford Ketchup, a community favorite, and people stood in line to purchase. A drawing was held for a beautiful stained glass window of the Shanes Log Cabin, lovingly prepared by Bob Blackwell of North Carolina. The piece was later won by Tom Mosier. Proceeds on the raffle sale benefit the Carey , Bill and Benny Scholarship Fund. Mr. Blackwell served in Viet Nam with the late Carey Fosnaugh.

 As midnight drew near, party-goers were encouraged to get their coats, step outside or enter their cars to watch the 20 minute fireworks display. It was a spectacular event with a special “200” display all its own as colorful fireballs lit up the sky, which the Barry Peel Family conducted to rock in the new decade. Members of the Bicentennial Committee Mike Schumm and Norm VanTilburg were excited about the turn-out.

They invite everyone to the upcoming activities of the year. February’s special event will be a presentation by Rockford Historical Society’s vice-president, Mike Schumm. Other items for the year include: a parade; a mural unveiling; a Johnny Appleseed Portrayal; beard growing contest; Old Fashioned Tea; Veteran’s Memorial Dedication; and so much more. Visit for all details.