Winnebago County Calendar of Events April 25 – May 4


Illinois History Sale, presented By Rockford Urban Ministries,Rockford, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free admission. For sale are old maps for the early 1800s showing Illinois in various imaginings; political prints of local and state politicians including Abraham Lincoln, former Governor Dan Walker, and John B. Anderson; old photographs, water colors, posters, knickknacks, and sculptures. All proceeds from the Illinois History Sale benefit Rockford Urban Ministries, an outreach of 25 area congregations working in the city. 


Enchanted April, presented By Pec Playhouse Theatre,  Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St.,Pecatonica, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Running through May 6, $14. When two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak marriages, they recruit two very different English women to share the cost and the experience. There, among the wisteria blossoms and Mediterranean sunshine, they bloom again to rediscover themselves in ways that they could never have expected. Information: 815-239-1210


Special Exhibit: Curious George – Let’s Get Curious!, Discovery Center Museum,  711 N. Main St., Rockford, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, $1 members, $11 public. Based on the familiar characters in H.A. and Margret Rey’s classic stories, the Curious George exhibit inspires young children’s natural curiosity as they explore early science, math and engineering through hands-on interactive play. Information: (815) 963-6769.

Lunch & Learn: Food as Medicine, 3333 Maria Linden Dr., Rockford, noon-1 p.m., $15 per person, $10 members.  Food is medicine, and what we eat affects us mentally and physically. This presentation will discuss some of the drawbacks of the Standard American Diet, and how it may contribute to chronic disease. We will also discuss food cravings, inflammatory vs . anti-inflammatory foods, and recommendations for a whole food diet for optimal health. Information: (815) 877-0118.


Simply Spring: The Butterfly Exhibit, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Celebrate the arrival of spring at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens and experience the magical world of butterflies.  $6 adult members, $4 senior members, veterans and youth ($2 more for non-residents0. Information: 815-987-8858.


National Land Institute Summer Lecture Series: Increasing the Buzz in Your Community, Prairie Street Brewhouse,  200 Prairie St., Rockford, 5:45 p.m., $6, pre-registration requested. One in a series of three lectures to inform the public about the importance of native plants, pollinators, water conservation and how these things tie in to what we like to eat and drink. NLI will also share information about their new Conservation@Home and @Work programs. Information: 815-964-6666.

Paddling Film Festival, , Prairie Street Brewhouse,  200 Prairie St., Rockford, 7 p.m., $12 in advance. Attendees will be inspired to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, push extremes, embrace an active outdoor lifestyle and appreciate the wild places. Information:  779-537-1330

Pop-Up Restaurant Series: Alchemy, Rockford Art Museum,  711 N. Main St., Rockford, 7 p.m., $55 by reservation. The museum offers an innovative, multiple course prix-fixe menu alongside the museum’s current feature exhibition. A limited amount of tickets will be sold for each event, ensuring a creative, one-time only culinary experience. Information: 815-968-2787.

APRIL 26-28

Bloomin’ Book, Plant & Baked Goods Sale, Winnebago Public Library, 210 N. Elida St., Winnebago, opens at 10 a.m. Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday, free admission. Gently-used books for children and adults, DVDs, puzzles,CD, plants and baked treats for sale. All proceeds benefit the Winnebago Public Library. Information: 815-335-7050.


Arbor Dash 5K Fun Run, Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, 6:30 p.m., $30 per runner, $20 Klehm members. This (unofficially) timed event is open to all ages. Participants will receive an Arbor Dash T-shirt and a tree seedling, while supplies last. Free admission for spectators. Information: 815) 965-8146.

23rd annual Research Day 2018, University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave., 9 a.m.-noon, free admission.  The public is invited to hear the keynote address – Chronic Disease Prevention: Progress and Missed Opportunities, given by Wayne Giles, MD, MS, Dean, UIC School of Public Health, Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at 9:30 a.m., followed by a panel discussion at 11:00 am – Turning the Tide: How Do We Change the Trajectory of Chronic Disease. Information and registration: 815-395-5601 or email


Celebrating Bernstein, presented By Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Coronado Performing Arts Center,314 N. Main St., Rockford, 7:30 p.m., $9-$65. This concert celebrates the great Leonard Bernstein and features four of his works: Divertimento, Chichester Psalms, Three Dance Episodes from On the Town, and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Information: 815-965-0049.

Peace Pole Painting Party, Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., $65 per person. Add color and creative flair to your flowerbeds. Learn how to make your personal Peace Pole garden art. ArtbyKarla provides all the materials to create this project (except for varnish that takes overnight to dry). Information:815-965-8146.

Pig Minds Brewing Comedy Night, 4080 Steele Dr., Machesney Park, 8 p.m., free admission. Four comedians perform including headliner Peter-john Byrnes has been described as having “the voice of an NPR announcer and the mind of an apocalyptic street preacher.”  Information: 779-423-2147.

Shop Till You Drop Vendor/Craft Event presented By Harmony Singing Society, 1104 15th Ave. Rockford, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., free admission.  Event has 50 vendors with something for everyone, including door prizes.

Unforgettable Art, presented By Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, UIC College of Medicine Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave., 6-10 p.m., $60, VIP Tickets $80 per person. Guests enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and live music while they watch 50 talented artists convert blank canvases into works of art. The evening concludes with a live auction of all artwork. InformatIon: 815-484-1300 or  visit for updates and details.

APRIL 28-29

The Gathering at Macktown, Macktown Living History Center, 2221 Freeport Rd., Rockton, 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, $7 adults, $5 students, free for children age 5 and under. Take a step back in time to experience American frontier life through the 1840s. Meet traders and trappers, French voyageurs and Native Americans. Enjoy food and mercantile vendors, demonstration and black powder shooting. Tour original buildings on a national historic site and meet Stephen Mack as he shares his home. Information: (815) 624-4200.

APRIL 28 -AUG. 25

Gallery Guided Tours of Main Museum Center, Midway Village Museum,  6799 Guilford Rd., Rockford, 10:30 a.m. Saturdays, $7 adults, $5 children ages 3-17, free for infants and museum members. An historic interpreter will guide visitors through an in-depth look at local history with exhibits on immigration, industrialization and pop culture. Learn stories and anecdotes not available on the regular self-guided experience.  No advance registration is needed. The tour is included with the regular admission price. Information: 815-397-9112.


Walpurgis Night, presented By Swedish Historical Society, Carlson Farm 8030 Clikeman Rd., Rockford, 6 p.m., $10 adults, $5 children ages 12 and under, RSVP requested. Walpurgis Night is a fun annual holiday in Sweden celebrating the arrival of spring. Information and registration: 815–963-5559 or


First Fridays – Art, Music, Food and Shopping in Downtown Rockford. Each month downtown art galleries, shops, music and theater venues work together to stay open late providing great new art, music and goods. Information: 779-537-5319.


–Winnebago County Calendar of Events April 25 – May 4–