ROCKFORD (WREX) — An annual tradition in Rockford begins on Friday—the Festival of Lights returns.
The holiday tradition opens at Sinnissippi Park at 5 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving with 20 brand new displays. There will be a tribute to the Festival of Lights founder Joe Marino, also known as Mr. Fourth of July, who passed away in 2018.
The park will open on November 29 and run through every weekend in December with extended hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
GRAND OPENING 11/29 at 5pm
Friday 11/29 – Sunday 12/1 5pm – 11pm
Friday 12/6 – Sunday 12/8 5pm – 11pm
Friday 12/13 – Sunday 12/15 5pm – 11pm
Friday 12/20 – Monday 12/23 5pm – 11pm
Christmas Eve 12/24 24 Hours
Christmas Day 12/25 24 Hours, shuts off at 12:01am, 12/26
Friday 12/27 – Sunday 12/29 5pm – 11pm
New Years Eve, 12/31 5pm – 12am
New for 2019:
• 20 new displays have been purchased to add to the existing FOL inventory. o One display was custom made in memory of Joe Marino, founder of Festival of Lights and the Rockford 4th of July Committee
• New businesses taking part in this yearly family tradition via sponsorship or participation.
• 30 new brighter up-lighting fixtures have been purchased to utilize along some tree lines in the park.
Santa and Christmas Letters – Santa appears from 7 – 9 p.m. every weekend during the Festival of Lights. (November 29-December 1, December 6-8, December 13-15, December 20-23)
Santa Claus will be in the center of Sinnissippi Park to wave and say hello to your family as they roll through this year’s Festival of Lights. Just before you get to Santa, there will be a red mailbox where you can put your letters to Santa. A special delivery courier will deliver them to the North Pole. Make sure to include your return address so Santa and his elves can write you back! Postage not required…the spirit of Christmas is all the postage you need.