rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 06/29/2005
Riverfest - Beloit Prepares to Kick It In Style
by Gary Hill

Get ready for music and fun along the banks of the Rock River. No, we aren't talking about On The Waterfront this time. In fact, this one comes along a lot sooner and is located a bit North of Rockford in Beloit, Wisconsin. Of course it can be none other than Beloit Riverfest. It's that time of year again, and 2005's edition of the annual festival occurs July 14th through the 17th, and as always will be packed with plenty of family fun, good food, music and much more.

An interesting addition to the event this year is Beloit: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. According to the Beloit Riverfest website it "will be a showcase exhibit to the scores of thousands of visitors to the festival. It will be a visual display of Beloit's history, who we are today, and the visions for the future. Our exhibitors will provide an intellectually stimulating testament of the offerings to our citizens and neighbors." Of course that's just one small facet of the festival. As always there will be a full-scale carnival with over 30 rides. The site says that "the rides range from very tame for the youngsters to spine-tingling for extreme thrill-seekers."

Family and children will definitely be welcomed. In fact, Riverfest organizers say that, "This year's festival features a major emphasis on family-centered entertainment. The Beloit Public Library will have story telling and interactive arts and craft sessions in the Turtle Island Kidz Zone. Clowns, face painters and roving artists will make your family's stay so much more fulfilling. Children will also enjoy interactive crafts and a variety of carnival rides just for them."

For those without children there will be plenty to please, as well. Music has always been a showcase of Riverfest, and this year is no exception. Those in the know tell us "with three different stages located on the scenic Rock River, there's definitely something for everyone! This year's lineup includes some of the biggest names in the music industry today. From country to classical, and from folk music to heavy metal, it's all at Riverfest." If you need more specific details than that, rest assured there will be cover bands (including Light Up - the nation's top Styx tribute band and Separate Ways - Journey tribute band from Fox Valley), local and regional favorites (Fat Elvis, Class Reunion, Harlan Jefferson band, Ernie & the Po Boys are among this group) and national artists (Collective Soul for one).

Music fans, though, will probably find most interesting the festival's offering for the Sunday session. The Rock Never Stops tour will be making its appearance at Beloit Riverfest. If you haven't heard, this one includes such 80's metal mainstays as Cinderella, Ratt, Quiet Riot and Firehouse. There will certainly be some heads banging that night. It has to be a major coup for Riverfest to get this one.

If all of this isn't enough to get you across the Wisconsin border, there is also food. According to their site, "Sixteen different vendors will serve up specialty foods in two separate food courts. Take your pick: Italian, Mexican, German, American, traditional favorites, desserts and much more! For those over age 21 (with ID), a wide variety of beer, wine and liquors will be available." All in all, there should be plenty for everyone. Tickets for the event are only $10 at the gate $8 in advance. They also offer "approximately 500 reserved seats for each national act. The price of these tickets will be $25.00. This price includes entrance to the grounds and a reserved seat in front of the Main Stage." If you want an even more incredible experience, "here will also be 40 ULTIMATE seats per national headline act that will be in the very first row. The price of these tickets will include entrance to the festival grounds, as well as complimentary food and beverage tickets." For more information, visit the Riverfest website at

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