By Kevin Haas
    Rock River Current
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    ROCKFORD — There are lots of opportunities for entertainment, shopping and giving back to your community this week, and you don’t have to wait for the weekend to arrive.

    You can shop farmers markets, see local plays, watch a living history exhibition game of the Rockford Peaches or help clean up Shorewood Park.

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    Here are 13 things to do in the area this week:

    Shop the Edgebrook farmers market

    About: Edgerbook kicked off its weekly farmer’s market last week. It runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesday through Oct. 25. You can shop for seasonal fresh produce, organic chicken, flowers, plants, natural dog treats, jams and jellies, baked goods, pizza and more.

    When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday

    Where: Edgebrook, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford

    Teaching Taiko drums

    About: Anderson Japanese Gardens’ Taiko Drum Group teaches the history and cultural impact of the Taiko drums, a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments. You can also learn how to play them.

    When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday

    Where: Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford

    Cost: $5 for members; $8 non members

    Contact: Linda Bergstrom at

    Register: Go here

    Sip wine and spirits to benefit RAMP

    About: RAMP’s Sip & Sample fundraiser provides samplings of wine, beer, spirits and food from a variety of local vendors. There’s also live music from Andrew Robinson and a silent auction. All proceeds benefit RAMP’s programs.

    When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 11

    Where: The Union, 112 N. Second St., Rockford

    Cost: $40 in advanced

    Register/more info: Go here.

    Ice cream social at Hoo Haven

    Jake the bald eagle sits on a perch inside his enclosure on Monday, April 3, 2023, at Hoo Haven in Durand. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)

    About: Visit Hoo Haven for free self-guided tours and an ice cream social.

    When: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 11

    Where: Hoo Haven, 10823 Cleveland Road, Durand

    More info:

    Support budding artists in Rockford

    Update: Tickets have sold out for this event.

    About: Kiwanis Club of Rockford hosts its eighth annual Budding Artists Gala. More than two dozen high school students donate their work for an auction. Each student receives half of the sale price of their pieces, $250 is given to each art department of the 10 participating schools and three $1,000 education grants are awarded.

    When: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, May 12

    Where: Radison Hotel & Conference Center, 200 S. Bell School Road, Rockford


    Shop the Forest City farmers market

    About: Forest City Church hosts a weekly farmers market in its parking lot through October. Pick up local fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, handmade items, jewelry, cheese, honey and other merchandise.

    Where: Forest City Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford

    When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday

    Attend the opening night of “Rockford Famous”

    Rockford Famous” is a group art exhibition featuring self portraits of several prominent Rockford artists. Work on display includes: Angel Rodriguez, Brett Whitacre, Drew Eurek, Jenny Mathews, Judith Meyer, Kelvin Candie, Laura Gomel, Chinacat 663 aka Manny Tang, Nick Cashmere, Norm Knott, Shaniqwa Porter and Roni Golan.

    The work remains on display at City Hall through June 16.

    When: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 12

    Where: City Hall, 425 E. State St., Rockford

    After party: 8:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at The Hub Art Gallery, 522 Seventh St., Rockford

    Get to know downtown Rockford

    Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront & Rockford Conference Center is shown through the letter O of the Rockford sign in Davis Park in downtown. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)

    About: The Element, a nonprofit community development organization, is hosting its second annual Great Downtown Open House. The event is meant to showcase improvements to downtown over the past decade. Visit retail shops, restaurants, salons, barber shops, art galleries and more. Urban Equity Properties will hold an open house at 301 S. Main St.; 317 Art Collective will host an art show Gary Anderson will lead a historic tour of downtown and
    the Rockford Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.

    When: Saturday, May 13

    Info: Facebook event page

    Find out who we are in the future

    About: Ars Publica is a new literary and performace art series exploring theories, speculations, and inventions. Each month it will dive into a difference subject.

    This month, it explores how we are seen through the lens of the future. Each artist will present a response to the question: “how will anthropologists in 1,000 years describe humanity today, or, how would you describe human culture 1,000 years in the future?”

    Where: The Underground, 418 E. State St., Rockford

    When: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 13

    More info: See the participating artist and more on the Facebook events page here

    Watch the Rockford Peaches at Midway Village

    The cast of The Studio’s “Girls of Summer” perform an excerpt from their original musical featuring the Rockford Peaches. This weekend the Peaches living history baseball team will wear the classic pink uniforms for a game at Midway Village Museum. (Photo provided by Courtney Walsh/The Studio)

    About: The Rockford Peaches Living History Baseball League returns to action Saturday inside the Victorian Village at Midway Village Museum. You can also check out the Peaches exhibit at the museum and other living history exhibits in the village.

    When: Gates open at noon, game time 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13

    Where: Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford

    Admission: $13; $11 children; $12 seniors


    Chow down on Pork Chop Day

    About: The Parks Kiwanis Club will hold its annual Pork Chop Day fundraiser. Each meal includes a pork chop sandwich, Ole Salty’s Potato Chips, applesauce and a bottle of water. Drive through pick up is available.

    When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 13

    Where: Loves Park City Hall, 100 Heart Blvd., Loves Park

    Cost: $7 in advance; $8 at the door

    Info: Facebook event page

    Help cleanup Shorewood Park

    About: Help cleanup Shorewood Park during this community wetland cleanup event. The Rockford Park District will provide trash bags and pickers to use.

    When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 13

    Where: Shorewood Park, 235 Evelyn Ave., Loves Park

    Closing weekend for ‘Marian’

    Elise Cambell as Marian and Eduardo Galaviz as her love interest Prince John rehearse for “Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood” at the West Side Show Room in Rockford. (Photo provided by West Side Show Room)

    “Marian,” a play that flips the script on the classic story of Robin Hood, has its final three days of performances this week at the West Side Show Room.

    Where: West Side Show Room, 1414 N. Main St., Rockford

    Cost: $20 for adults or $10 for students


    • Thursday, May 11 – 7 p.m. (Q & A Talk Back)
    • Friday, May 12 – 8 p.m.
    • Saturday, May 13 – 8 p.m.

    Buy tickets:

    This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas.

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