2017 Day Trip: Exploring the charming small town Rockford!

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April 17, 2017: Day Trip to Rockford, IL.

Day trips are a good escape from daily grind of humdrum activities. With a day trip, are no hassles of overnight stay and all the arrangements that go with it. I was looking for some exciting places to for a little getaway. In my search,  I came across a few articles about Sculpture Stroll in Rockford. Installed in 2015, they will be in Rockford till June 2017.  Bingo! I got my day trip destination. So April 17th, I leave my home at 6 am .. and reached there at 7 am. It was a gorgeous spring day.. and I had a great trip. Here I share some images from my day trip.

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Few Rockford related Fun Facts

Rockford is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois, after Chicago and Joliet. Rockford is bigger than Peoria or Springfield.

In 1834, New Englanders settled on both banks of a shallow, rocky stretch of the Rock River, where there was a natural ford. They named their settlement “Midway Village,” because it was halfway between Chicago and Galena (then a mining boomtown). By 1837, the settlement had grown and was re-named “Rockford.”

Early settlers called it “Forest City” because of the river valley’s verdant woods. Today, it’s being called the “City of Gardens.” It lives up to the name. There is the Anderson Japanese Gardens is considered one of the top two Japanese gardens in the Western World; the other one’s in Portland, Oregon. Then there is Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens at Sinnissippi Gardens, along the Rock River. Also Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has so many rare and unusual trees and shrubs, botanists say there’s only one comparable site…and it’s in France.

Rockford was once known as the “Screw Capital of the World” because of the billions of screws, bolts and fasteners its factories produced for the manufacturers of the world.

Off late Rockford has been undertaking of various tourism and downtown revitalization efforts. There is a Forest City Beautiful initiative. The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau-led enterprise would take on everything from pulling weeds, mulching, planting flowers, hanging baskets, trimming trees, planting new ones and adding lighting. The goal is to revitalize downtown to encourage more economic investment. 

 

Day Trip to Rockford, IL
There were three major stops:
Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza.. click here..
Lockwood Park / Gertrude the Guernsey Cow.. click here..
Sculpture Stroll [2015-2017] in Downtown Rockford… click here..

In my previous visit to Rockford I had been to
Public Art along the Rock River Recreation Path.. click here..
Sinnissippi Gardens and Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens.. click here..

 

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford.

 

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First Stop: Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza

The plaza celebrates both the rich ethnic heritage of the Rock River region and the universal aspirations for true world understanding and tranquility. It showcases 40 flags, 30 languages, 10 prophets of peace, two hemispheres, One World.

For more, Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza< click here.

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"Gertrude" the Guernsey Cow / Lockwood Park, Rockford.

“Gertrude” the Guernsey Cow / Lockwood Park, Rockford.

 

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Second Stop: Lockwood Park

Lockwood park is a beautifully maintained children’s farm. For me, the main attraction at the park was “Gertrude” the Guernsey Cow. Gertrude is one of America’s biggest fiberglass cows – 21 feet from nose to tail, and stands 19 feet high from horns to hoof.

For more.. Lockwood Park / Gertrude the Guernsey Cow.. click here..

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Rock River, Rockford

Rock River, Rockford

 

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Third Stop: Downtown Rockford

Rockford life centers around the Rock River. It may divide the east side from the west.

I explored the area close to east and west banks of Rock River.
The main idea was to do the “Sculpture Stroll”, and see whatever interests me.

 

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Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum, Rockford.

Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum, Rockford.

 

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Victory Monument, Rockford

Victory Monument, Rockford

 

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Oracle – by Hans Van de Bovenkamp

Oracle – by Hans Van de Bovenkamp

 

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Sculpture Stroll in Downtown Rockford / June 2015 – June 2017.

If you are wondering what is Sculpture Stroll?

Sculpture Stroll in downtown Rockford featuring works by two New York based artists: Boaz Vaadia and Hans Van de Bovenkamp. A Public Art initiative created by the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau [RACVB]. Originally schedule to be on display from June 2015 – May 2016, the RACVB worked with the artists to extend the stay because of the overwhelming response from the community. Now extended to June 2017. Initially there were 9 sculptures. “Asa & Yehoshafat with Dog” by Boaz Vaadia has been sold. So on display are 8 sculptures.I could see all 8 of them. These are spread over east and west side of Rock River, along the State Street, Rockford.

For more.. click here..

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Ba’al & Yizhaq – by Boaz Vaadia.

Ba’al & Yizhaq – by Boaz Vaadia.

 

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Joe Marino Park, Rockford.

Joe Marino Park, Rockford.

 

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Men at work / Rockford.

Men at work / Rockford.

 

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The friendliest people live in Rockford.

Walking on the streets, don’t know how many times people have wished me “good morning,” “hello,” “beautiful day.”
Beautiful town. Lovely people!

Also, Rockford maybe having some good looking guys beautifying the town! I saw them working and requested them a shot. They were a bit hesitant, but obliged. Thank You!! If any of you three see this, please contact me [jyoti@lensmpressions.net ]. I need to know the names. I am not sure i got them right.

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Men at work / Rockford.

Men at work / Rockford.

 

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In my earlier trip to Rockford, I’ve seen Public Art along the Rock River Recreation Path.
There are about 10 large pieces of sculptures along the River.
If interested, check this out.. click here..

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Symbol – by Alexander Liberman

Symbol – by Alexander Liberman

 

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Related Links:

Rockford Attractions.. click here..

My Vacations.. click here..
Vacation: USA.. click here..
Vacation: UK.. click here..
Vacation: India.. click here..
UNESCO World Heritage Site.. click here..
Home.. click here..

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