Hundreds return to Old Settlers Day music festival for first time in two years

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - For the first time in two years, Settlers Park turns into an amusement park but there were a plethora of challenges to overcome to make it happen.

“We have some great country stars this year and we’re just really looking forward to getting open,” Old Settlers Days spokesperson Carolyn Wright said.

“It’s good to be out again it makes everything a lot better,” Loves Park resident Joe Cassata said.

Hundreds of patrons flood the park for live music, and amusement park rides.

“I like to go on the Ali Baba right there,” Rockton resident Cadence said.

“It’s very nice to go out without any restrictions,” Davis resident Jayden Sadewater said.

Safety tests are ongoing in the region, including at Old Settlers Days, and according to Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell so far so good.

“We just completed the sample on the Old Settlers Days area which is outside the evacuation zone,” Martell said. “We wanted to take a sample because we know there is concern about a very important event that is taking part in the community and those samples came back negative as well.”

The first of four days at the festival makes a big impact on the community, some even believe it brings the best out of Rockton.

“Having Old Settlers taken away was like you took the heart out of Rockton for a year,” Rockton resident Tony Miller said. “It took a lot to get over that but it’s back now.”

There is a private Facebook group with the goal of holding Chemtool accountable for any wrongdoing. Many on the page have voiced concerns and opinions about the music festival going on while so many people are displaced from their homes.

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