Forget this weather, there is lots to do!

Column: Live It Up
by Karissa Kienast

There is a lot going on in the Rockford this weekend, so let’s get started…

The Signature Event

Tonight you can head out to The Signature Event happening at Giovanni’s from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Here you can sample local “signature” cocktails, food, and beers from restaurants like Octane, Pearl, Olive, and Old Chicago. There are 12 restaurants participating and there will also be signature art pieces from local artists on display that you can purchase. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at any of the participating restaurants. The Signature Event benefits The Element and the Rockford Area Art’s Council. For more info and a list of those participating, click here.

Guys & Dolls

Also opening tonight is the classic Broadway musical “Guys & Dolls.” Performances run April 28 to May 1 and shows are at 7:30 Thursday-Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. All performances take place at Clark Arts Center at Rockford College. Tickets are just $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors (55 and older). To order tickets, call the Rockford College Box Office at 815-226-4100. The performance dates and times are:

  • Thursday, Apr. 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM
  • Friday, Apr. 29, 2011 at 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, Apr. 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, May. 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM

For more information on the show, click here.

Great American Cleanup

This Saturday, Apr. 30, join Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful for the county-wide clean-up. Registration is required, but you are in luck because IGNITE is volunteering and is looking for people to join us! All are welcome, including families, and if you have an IGNITE t-shirt please wear it. Volunteers receive trash bags, work gloves, safety vests and liter tongs and will be served a thank-you lunch after the morning cleanup. The clean-up goes from 9:00am – 12:00pm and IGNITE will be working between Midway Theatre and the MetroCentre. If you can help, please R.S.V.P by contacting GIVE Committee Chair Melissa Schraiber at

Peanut Butter Duathlon

What better combination is there? Head out Saturday, April 30 and join Swedish American Health Systems for their seventh annual duathlon, which consists of a two-mile run, followed by a 14 mile bike ride and another two-mile run. The entry fee for individuals is $35; $40 on race day or for teams $60; $75 on race day. The race will be held at Rock Cut State Park and proceeds benefit the Rock River Valley Pantry as they stock their shelves with peanut butter. Participants are asked to donate a jar of peanut butter. For more information, visit

2011 Real Estate Boot Camp

Looking to buy a home or condo but not sure where to start? Then come to Real Estate Boot Camp on Saturday, April 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this informational seminar is for current and prospective homebuyers, sellers and investors. The boot camp, held at Garrison Lofts, features seven half-hour mini seminars covering topics on selling a home, foreclosed properties and short sales, factors influencing purchases in the current economy and housing incentive programs. Activities include a first-time homebuyer panel, home inspection tours, realtor interviews and home giveaway. For more information, call 815-395-6776.

HCC Family Fun Walk

Grab the kids and join Harlem Community Center for their HCC Family Fun Walk on Sunday, May 1st. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., head out to the Willow Creek Trail, located between Harlem High School and Dennis Johnson Memorial Park. The walk will begin at the high school and end at the park where there will be face painting, crafts, and other activities for the kids. All participants receive a draw-string bag and a water bottle, plus there will be local business give-away items and snacks. All proceeds will support the Neighborhood Playground Program. For more information call 815-633-5817.

And if you want more…

If you are looking for something to do next week, why not head out to a performance of Cirque du Soleil: Dralion. “Fusing the 3000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil, Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show’s name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West. In Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Thus embodied, each element is represented by its own evocative colour: air is blue; water is green; fire is red; earth is ochre. In the world of Dralion, cultures blend, Man and Nature are one, and balance is achieved.”

Performances run May 4-8 and tickets can be purchased here.

That’s all I have this week! The weather is going to be kind of crazy this weekend, with a forecast that includes sun, thunderstorms, and temps ranging from 53 degrees to 70 degrees…so hopefully I have given you enough outdoor and indoor events to make it a fabulous weekend!


~ by Karissa on April 28, 2011.

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