Stroll on State Returns in Person, Seeing Improvement in Attendance from 2019 | Positive local news


This year, the RACVB hired an event analysis company that uses data from mobile devices to estimate attendance figures.

ROCKFORD (WREX) – Despite a recent wave of the coronavirus pandemic, several events are returning in person, including Stroll on State.

This year’s event returned in person in late November a year after an hour-long special was produced and televised on 13 WREX.

The Rockford Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) announced that approximately 62,500 people attended this year’s event. This year’s number was an increase from 2019, where around 57,900 guests attended.

In addition to the overall attendance of 62,250 people this year, the company estimated that about 75% were residents of Winnebago County, and more than 5% were from outside Illinois.

“Analyzing the new attendance data up to 2017, we now know that the 75/25% split between county residents and non-residents is fairly consistent every year,” said John Groh, chief executive officer of the RACVB.

This year, the RACVB hired an event analysis company that uses data from mobile devices to estimate attendance figures.

Using historical data, the company was also able to provide more reliable estimates of previous years in which the Rockford Office and Police Department estimated attendance using manual calculations from aerial photographs, crowd watchers, shuttle use, occupied parking spaces, sales figures and number of guests at attractions.

For example, in 2019, using manual calculations, attendance was estimated at 21,875. Using data from mobile devices, the RACVB now estimates this year’s attendance at around 57,900 guests.

The analysis also confirms that hot weather in 2017 and 2018 was attributed to crowds of around 86,400 and 83,250, respectively, while rain and cold in 2019 brought down attendance.

Other numbers that tell the story of Stroll 2021 include:

  • 49 sponsors and partners
  • 3,142 hours of volunteering before, during and after the event
  • 745 5K Dasher Dash runners
  • 49 food and retail vendors
  • 324 ornaments adorning the official Christmas tree of the City of Rockford
  • 170 large gift boxes and trees decorating the city center
  • 573 children’s letters from 11 states written to Santa Claus
  • 9 parade balloons, including the new official Stroll on State inflatable
  • 113 decorated Jeep® parade entrances

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