Rock Falls Travel Blog

Extreme Summer Tour Challenge 2017

family fun filled weekend family fun filled weekend #visitrockfalls

6 Events - 1 Weekend

Summer is in full swing and so are all the wonderful events and tours in Northwest Illinois! As I was checking on upcoming events, I realized that many great events are taking place July 8th and July 9th 2017. Not wanting to miss one of them, I have devised a tour to visit all 6 events over two days. Two events & two Farmer’s Markets are in close proximity of one another, and two take place in or around our surrounding communities. Follow my lead and we will make it through the weekend with lots of fun, photos, family time and treasured memories of visiting Northwest Illinois.

Day One: Saturday July 8th

1. Twin Cities Farmers Market-Sterling IL OPEN 8:00 am - 12:00 pm The Twin City Market (“TCM”) began as a project of the Northwest Illinois Ag Coalition and began operations as a farmers’ market in July 2005 after the generous contribution of a location and funding from the City of Sterling, Illinois. Location: 106 Avenue A, Sterling, IL


2. Rock Falls Farmers Market-Rock Falls, IL OPEN 8:00 am - 1:00 pm Purchase some of the region's freshest produce at the Rock Falls Farmer's Market. This market is organized by the Rock Falls Chamber office and takes place two times a week at the municipal parking lot adjacent to the Firehouse Fire Museum in the Uptown Rock Falls District. Location: 403 West 2nd Street, Rock Falls, IL

Why visit both farmers markets? They both offer exceptional vendors which complement our communities!



3. Touch-A-Truck 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Lunch right off the grill and so much more! Located at the west patio and parking lot in the new Run Bike and Walk District, Touch-A-Truck has Firetrucks, squad cars, snow plows, dump trucks, and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine! With over 75 attractions to look, learn and touch, this event is a must see for the young & young at heart. Touch-A-Truck (organized by the Rock Falls Optimist Club) has vehicles on display from many areas of the community: business, emergency, civic and more! Location: 301 East 2nd Street, Rock Falls, IL

Touch-A-Truck has become a major attraction in Rock Falls. In the last few years, it has drawn national interest, including the stars of American Pickers and the Pink Heals Fire Trucks and it's FREE to anyone who attends! The Optimist Club will be selling food for lunch, including Selmi's Greenhouse, Farm Market & Pumpkin Patch's famous Sweet Corn. A free gift will be given out the first 300 kids who attend! For more information and updates be sure to like our page Optimist Club of Rock Falls IL. Back by Popular Demand! The Rock Falls Street Department and another Paint the Plow activity for the kids.



4. Rock Falls River Chase 11:00 am – 5:00 pm lunch and so much more! While at Touch-A-Truck, you may look across to the Rock River and see small boats zipping by between the Upper Dam and IL Route 40 Bridge. If you don’t see ‘em, you will definitely hear ‘em. What sounds like dirt bikes skipping on the Rock River, is actually stock outboard and modified boat racing on the Rock. Presented by Marine Racing Club, this splash-filled event drew nearly 2,000 people and featured some of the fastest outboard racers in the Midwest. The success of the 2016 event assured its return in 2017. Free admission... bounce houses... fire truck rides... food vendors. Location: 604 East 2nd Street, Rock Falls, IL

Whew! Are you ready for a breather? You’re day’s not over quite yet! To end your fun filled family day in the Rock Falls Illinois area (without having to worry about cooking once!), take a quick drive to Longshots Bar & Grill for your last event of the day.


5. Rock Falls Antique Tractor and Engine Show Cook-Out 7:00 am – 5:00 pm early dinner, history, education and lots of fun! This is a community event, and we invite anyone to stop by! They are growing every year and currently feature:

  • Antique, Unique, and Restored equipment on display!
  • Learn about unique equipment and restored machinery- ask away!
  • Breakfast and lunch cookout sponsored by Long Shot- good food, good price!
  • Blacksmith demonstration and items for purchase
  • Tractor parts and equipment for sale
  • Vendors and Crafts- Avon, jewelry, unique crafts- new additions this year!
  • Playground on grounds
  • Food Drive for local food pantry- will gladly accept pet supplies, too!
  • Scavenger hunt for kids!
  • NEW! Tractor Games! Display tractors can compete in a number of challenges and games to show off their skills! Come watch some farmers get silly!
  • NEW! Silent Auction! John Deere and Farmall items will be up for bid with all donations going towards our annual food drive!
  • NEW! Still Cruisin’ Linedancers! Enjoy some fun music and dancing- even join on in if you’d like! Keep an eye out, you may see a few of our volunteers boot-scootin’ and achy-breakin’!

Free to attend! The organizers want this to be as fun for you to attend as it is for them to put together! Location: Long Shot Sports Bar and Grill, 3312 W Rock Falls Rd, Rock Falls, IL 61071

Now that you have day one behind your belt, you can relax in your hotel room or travel home then sleep easy knowing that day two is the Whiteside County Barn Tour.  

Day Two: Sunday July 9th 

Tour Hours: Saturday, July 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Sunday, July 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

6. Whiteside County Barn Tour Whiteside County/Lee County 9:00 am – 3:00 pm each location on the tour is unique. Plus, a little birdie told me that there will be food available along the tour! The widely anticipated barn tour is here!!! Throughout the Midwest, historians are lamenting the disappearance of barns. The sentimental response of the plight of dying barns goes beyond the rustic appeal of the architecture. A barn is the most easily identifiable feature of early American farms. As such it is symbolic of a way of life rapidly disappearing from the American landscape. Don’t miss this tour! I highly recommend it.

The route for the 2017 tour is set and the tour has headed east!  That's right.  The tour begins in Lee County, Illinois, at 552 Palmyra Road, Dixon, and heads west back towards Whiteside County. Bathrooms will be available at various locations.

Admission:  $20 per vehicle-No Advance Sales (admission includes tour book and map). Tour goers will be able to pay their admission using a credit card.  An additional $1.00 transaction fee will be charged.  Additional tour books, including books from past tours, will be available for purchase.

The Rock Falls Area Extreme Summer Tour Challenge is an opportunity to have fun together and make the most of it!

We spend almost half of our waking hours NOT living in the present. Life unfolds in the present. Time slows down when you focused on the “now.” Life becomes AMPLIFIED when you’re in the moment. When you pay attention to your five senses, you can’t listen to your internal reel, which exhausts our stamina to handle the external input/information. Spend time with your family on this tour with a fresh pair of eyes. Regardless of the fact that this tour is jam packed with activities, it is real life, and I welcome you to enjoy all that the Sauk Valley Area has to offer.  Tune into your senses on the tour (sight, smell, feel, taste, hearing), you will unknowingly allowed your neurons to connect with what is in front of you, rather than what was circulating in your head. Try it. It's worth it.

With the tour I created, you won't miss a moment or event July 8-9 2017. Immerse yourself in our history and in nature during our weekend tour! Make your reservations at these local accommodations ranging in cost per room/night: Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Days Inn, Holiday Inn Express & SuitesSuper 8, one of our motels or at Crow Valley Campground.

I have only one final question for you. Are you up for the challenge?


Helicopter taking off at Touch A Truck 2016 Rock Falls Tourism
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