Winnebago County news briefs

Chronicle Media
Rockford  Park  District's  Forest  City  Queen  riverboat. (Photo courtesy Go Rockford tourism)

Rockford Park District’s Forest City Queen riverboat. (Photo courtesy Go Rockford tourism)

Forest City Riverboat, Trolley 36 offering fall excursion tours

Rockford Park District’s Forest City Queen riverboat and rail-based Trolley Car 36 fall tours will continue to offer public excursion rides this fall weather and river conditions permitting.

Select dates and times are also still available for a variety of Forest City Queen meal cruises. Trolley rides at Rockford City Market will continue through Oct. 2.

The Forest City Queen operates Saturdays and Sundays, Sep.t 12-Oct. 10 (no cruises Oct. 11 due to Head of the Rock Regatta); public rides offer 45-minute narrated excursion tours, giving passengers fascinating information about Rockford’s history, with an up-close glimpse of some of the most stately homes along the Rock River. The Forest City Queen is wheelchair accessible.

New this year are Fall Foliage Cruises. Experience the beauty of the changing seasons on board the Forest City Queen while cruising past the tree-lined riverbanks bursting with color.

These two-hour tours also include donuts, hot cider, and coffee, all for just $16 per person. Tours are scheduled for Saturdays October 3 and 10, departing at 9:00 a.m.

Trolley Car 36 operates Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 12-Oct. 11 and travels along the Rock River Recreation Path from Riverview Park to the Symbol sculpture, with a brief stop at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, where riders can visit the rose gardens and Eclipse Lagoon before returning to the station. Trolley Car 36 is wheelchair accessible (maximum two wheelchairs per ride).

Fall season public hourly rides for both the Forest City Queen and Trolley Car 36 are scheduled to depart at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Hourly ride tickets can be purchased online at or, by phone at 815-987-8894, or during office hours at the Trolley Station at the south end of Riverview Park, 324 N. Madison St., Rockford, IL. Seating availability is first come, first served. All Forest City Queen cruises depart from the Riverview Park dock.

Complete information, including fees and purchasing tickets for all tours/rides, is available on the web sites for the boat or trolley, the Trolley Station at 815-987-8894, or Park District Customer Service at 815-987-8800; information about support and adapted listening equipment for passengers with disabilities is available from both locations.

Faculty, RVC talking but strike looms


Faculty union representatives and Rock Valley College were still talking early in the week in a bid to avoid a strike.

Faculty are working without a contract and a strike could occur as soon as Wednesday. Both sides were set to meet again on Tuesday, according to reports.

Both sides remain far apart of some issues — including compensation — according to the reports. Faculty have been working without a contract since June.

NIU EIGERlab now open in two locations

NIU EIGERlab has now officially opened doors at two new locations.

The new NIU EIGERlab CoWorking Space is at 8500 E. State St. in Rockford, while NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development is located at 5529 Zenith Pkwy. in Loves Park.

The CoWorking Space is dedicated to promoting an energetic ecosystem of solopreneurs and early stage, product-based growth companies. This is where entrepreneurs can access business coaching, mentors, investor networks, product-based project management, CAD design and 3D printing to accelerate the commercialization of their business ideas.

The Center for Product Development serves the region with leading edge business, engineering and project management support services. In addition to offering functional additive manufacturing and 3D printing capabilities, NIU EIGERlab will soon be introducing certification courses for 3D printer technicians this fall.

For more information visit


— Winnebago County news briefs —