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In 2017, the mayor of Rockford, IL declared August 15th to be “Rockford Day,” a day to incite civic pride in the 815 community. The 8-1-5 hasn’t always gotten the best wrap, but because members of the community LOVE Rockford, this area is emerging as a Northern Illinois hotspot for shopping, eating, and outdoor recreation. Being part of a healthy community can provide people with a sense of security and belonging. Connecting with other people and local businesses allows us to be part of something bigger than ourselves and to reach for our goals. Here in Rockford, we feel the support coming from all directions. 

The “815” region actually expands past Rockford and includes cities like Belvidere, Loves Park, Roscoe, and South Beloit. These areas enhance Rockford to complete the “Rockford Region.” The diversity that this provides only enhances the amount of support and acceptance received by its community members. It also provides so many different opportunities to build and support local businesses. 

At Tad More Tailoring, we feel so supported by our community in our mission to “improve the fashion industry with every stitch.” This 815 Day, we want to return the favor. Here are three reasons (and many businesses!) TMT thinks Rockford is a peach and why you should love the region too!

Reason One To Love Rockford: Outdoor Recreation

For being a larger city, Rockford provides many chances to submerge yourself in nature. Klehm Arboretum is a 155-acre stretch of woodlands and botanical gardens, where numerous trails can lead you through both of these ecosystems. Sinnissippi Gardens and Nicholas Conservatory are two more wonderful places to walk around and enjoy the beautiful nature that Rockford has to offer. 

These adjacent attractions offer different experiences. While walking around the Sinnissippi Gardens you may find climate-based botanicals, or seasonal attractions like their Rose festival in the Summer. The conservatory is a greenhouse and contains tropical plants from all over the world- you can even get married in this warm-climate space year round! In this area, you will also find the Rock River Recreational Path, a paved 10-mile bike and walking path, that runs along the Rock River where one can observe a water ecosystem as well as beautiful architecture. Combine these unique nature attractions with tons of nature reserves and parks and you get some easy escapes from traditional urban life.

Reason Two To Love Rockford: The Food Scene

Rockford is understated in the foodie community. Not only is downtown Rockford a mecca for urban, local eats, but surrounding cities and towns over diversity to please every diet. Taco Betty’s, Prairie Street Brewhouse, and Woodfire Pizza are all must-eat stops when walking the streets of downtown. For those who follow plant-based diets, Pig Minds, located in Machesney Park, is the first all vegan eatery and brewery in the region.   

For a healthier choice, Thrive Café, located in Loves Park, has fantastic smoothie bowls and pressed juices. For breakfast or a coffee run, Rockford Roasting Company downtown,  Bagels and More in South Beloit, or Stockholm Inn on Rockford’s Northern end of town are options that will fill you up (with food and energy!). 

Reason Three to Love Rockford: Local Shopping

The Rockford region has a great shopping scene with a number of small local businesses selling both goods and services. Rockford Art Deli, or RAD, sells original t-shirt designs and other merchandise to encourage Rockford pride. Hi Beautiful Bridal in Rockton sells gorgeous bridal gowns for many of the Rockford region’s brides. For other wardrobe additions, Minglewood is a Rockford institution with funky threads. Tad More Tailoring can alter or repair any of these locally purchased items to make sure you’re always repping your favorite city. Move away but still need these repairs to your favorite tee? Try repairing worn clothing via the TMT online alterations services!

A city is made of buildings and paved roads. A community is what gives a city a beating heart. In the 815, community members rose to the challenge of restoring Rockford, and have largely succeeded. We are so proud to call Tad More Tailoring a local Rockford business. Happy Rockford Day, everyone!

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