Labor Day weekend is all about relaxation. But that doesn't mean it should be boring.
Instead of staying indoors or venturing no further than a neighbor's backyard barbecue, consider the many offerings of the Stateline Area in coming days.
Whether it's catching a concert by one of today's biggest stars at Rockford's On the Waterfront or taking in the grand tradition of the Walworth County Fair, there's plenty from which to choose. Janesville's Labor Fest and the Rock River Thresheree in Edgerton also offer entertaining choices.
On the Waterfront
For the biggest acts, you'll have to head south. Rockford's On the Waterfront, celebrating its 28th year of operation, kicks off Thursday and has big-name entertainment lined up yet again.
An all-rock lineup including bands like Puddle of Mud, Papa Roach, Buckcherry and Crossfade will take to the stages on Thursday. Pop sensation Jason Derulo and country favorite Jerrod Niemann are scheduled for Friday night.
The music will keep pumping through Saturday and Sunday, with local-level acts performing at earlier times. Saturday's highlights include Josh Turner and Rick Estrin & the Nightcats. On Sunday, legendary alternative rockers the Stone Temple Pilots will close things out.
And though music is the festival's main draw, the food and carnival ride offerings attract crowds as well.
New for this year, is a "green street," where environmentally friendly businesses will have products and demonstrations to display. Also, the Winnebago County 9/11 Emergency Responders Memorial will include a showing of a piece of steel from the fallen Twin Towers.
Multi-day passes are available in advance, while one-day, at the gate admission will be sold for $15. About 200,000 attendants are expected by organizers.
Walworth County Fair
Since 1849, agricultural families and others have flocked to the Walworth County Fair in Elkhorn. This year's fair will feature some big bands and new attractions, including a historic documentary about the fair itself.
Compared to other county fairs, organizers in Walworth take particular pride in the musical offerings.
"The fact we offer huge, grandstand entertainment makes us a bit different," saidSusan Pruessing, public relations manager for the Fair.
Montgomery Gentry, the Doobie Brothers and Rodney Atkins are this year's biggest stars.
About 170,000 to 175,000 are expected show up for the four day event.
Rock River Thresheree
The 55th Annual Rock River Thresheree will begin Friday and run through Monday at Threshermen's Park in Edgerton.
The even will run each day from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $8 and children age 12 and younger will be admitted free.
The Parade of Power, featuring a parade of farm vehicles will be held at 2 p.m. and there will be other attractions, including steam train rides and more.
For more information, go to www.thresheree.org.
Janesville's Laborfest kicks off Saturday with music and fun for the whole family.
The fest kicks off at noon with mud volleyball. There will be games for kids and a rock climbing wall.
Music will be provided by Roger Crary at 1 p.m. and the Jamie Campbell Band at 7 p.m.
Sunday, the grounds will open at 8 a.m. and the mud volleyball tournament will begin.
Monday, the grounds will open at 10 a.m. The Labor Day parade will begin at 1 p.m. in downtown Janesville.
For more information, go to www.Laborfest.org.