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Rockford Community Orchestra

Rudy Kazoody’s

bring the family. Owners Tammy Barth and her mother Marge Cavender opened Rudy Kazoody’s because there was no candy shop in Rockford. Smart. The shop boasts an extensive collection of retro and nostalgic chocolates and candies. “If it is out there, we have it,” Tammy says. Take your children to a bygone era as they browse shelves creaking under the weight of Necco Wafers, Bun Bars, Zotz, Sugar Daddy caramel suckers and candy cigarettes (classy). Buy some for yourself and fill a fancy gift basket. For parents, Rudy Kazoody’s sells premium chocolates by Polly’s Passions. These handmade truffles, turtles, toffee and other chocolate treats are made with the best ingre- dients in West Michigan. And if you are daring, you can sample some of Rudy Kazoody’s ed- ible bugs. These dehydrated scorpions, larvae and crickets are sold as suckers and dipped in chocolate for your entomophagic explorations.

Get into the holiday spirit with ROCKFORD’S HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSES on Nov. 16 and 17 from 5-9 p.m. Take part in a lighting cer- emony, horse-drawn carriages and carolers.

A couple of weeks later is the ANNUAL ROCKFORD SANTA PARADE. The 68th edition of the parade will be held on Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. in downtown Rockford. The charming city will look like a Thomas Kinkade painting decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and boughs and hundreds of cheery red ribbons. Watch the jolly old fellow spread good cheer from his white carriage to the thronging crowds. He will be joined by an armada of cute floats sponsored by area businesses along with proud marching bands and patriotic scout troops. Santa will end his journey at the Rotary Pavilion. There will be

crafts for the children while they wait and goodie bags for everyone. The good boys and girls can sit on his lap and tell him their Christmas wishes. Think Legos.

If you enjoy art, the ROCKFORD AREA ARTS COMMISSION can help. The commis- sion sponsors the ROGUE RIVER ARTISTS ASSOCIATION, which is a juried artists group that includes artisans in fabric, jewelry, oils, pastels, pencil, pottery, handbag crafting, acrylics, charcoal and watercolors. Members meet the second Tuesday of every month at the Rockford D&W. Bring three new pieces of art and you can apply to join. The group will hold their annual HOLIDAY ART & FINE CRAFT SHOW, Nov. 5 at the Rockford United Methodist Church (159 Maple St.). If

you are interested in museum-quality paintings, prints and crafts, visit the FRAME AND MAT SHOP (65 Courtland). This family run busi- ness always has unique and beautiful work by talented local and regional artists on display.

The arts commission also hosts musical perfor- mances, which help to knit together the fabric of the community. These all-volunteer groups include the ROCKFORD COMMUNITY BAND, CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA. “Lots of people sang in the choir or played in the band in school, but they have no way to perform as adults. These groups can help people express themselves,” said Jeff Lewis of the arts commis- sion. There are no auditions, so anyone can join. All three groups, which rehearse weekly around town, are currently getting ready for the HOLIDAY COMMUNITY CONCERT, Dec. 4 at the Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium.

Bargain shoppers, runners and workers will want to visit the ROCKFORD FOOTWEAR DEPOT (235 N Main St.). Owned by Wolverine Worldwide, the attractively designed outlet store offers a wide selection of shoes and clothing for adults and children by Bates, Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson, Hush Puppies, Merrell, Patagonia, Sebago, Wolverine and more. Look for the Wolverine’s 1000 Mile Boots, which are amazing. Then head to the back of the store to browse the clearance annex, where you may be able to find shoes up to 90 percent off. n

Send comments and questions for my bemusement to

Art in the Park

Photos // Rockford Community Orchestra and Art in the Park: Tom Scott; Rosie’s Diner: Steven de Polo




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