contentsWinnebao County IL Regional Planning & EDCads



Rockford, the county seat, is the third largest city in the state of Illinois with a population of over 150,000.

It is known as the Forest City, where you can find affordable homes on tree-lined streets in friendly neighborhoods. The city’s central location, with easy access to major highways, rail service and one of the fastest growing airports in the country, makes Rockford a great location for new business development.

Rockford is a city on the move with a vibrant downtown area, an extensive regional shopping district and higher educational institutions.


Rockford is the home of On the Waterfront, Illinois’ largest music festival; Jane, the dinosaur, at the Burpee Museum of Natural History; and the hometown of the internationally known rock group, Cheap Trick. Rockford was a participant in the America in Bloom competition in 2005 and 2007. The competition served as a catalyst for city-wide beautification and clean-up programs. Rockford received top honors both years and received America in Bloom’s highest designation of “5 Blooms” in 2007 – only two of the 29 entrants received the honor.

Rockford is blessed with a foundation of unique neighborhoods. Haight Village, a residential neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places, provides a visual history of Rockford’s early architectural styles including Greek Revival, Queen Anne and Gothic. The majority of the 100 structures boast ages of 100 to 150 years. The thirteen-block area was designated Rockford’s first historic district in 1980. Haight is one of 28 neighborhoods that comprise the Neighborhood Network – a learning, sharing organization.


To experience Rockford as it once was, visit Midway Village and Museum Center. The Village is representative of a typical rural Illinois town at the end of the 19th century. Midway Village features 26 local historical structures including a general store, hardware store, print shop, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, town hall, police station, plumbing shop, bank, hotel, hospital, fire station, church, barber shop, law office, two barns and four farm houses. The center provides interpretation of the history of the City of Rockford and shows how this region has affected the world through its products, people and industrial innovations.

Rockford has a proud past and an even brighter future. Visitors and new residents alike find that Rockford is a wonderful place to raise a family or grow a business. Rockford is a great place to live, work and play.

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