Festival on the Rock This Is Beloit Wisconsin (Custom)Festival on the Rock lights up the riverfront in Beloit

Live music, carnival rides and spectacular fireworks are just some of the fun activities that have made Festival on the Rock, a popular celebration in the Beloit area for more than 20 years.

“It’s a fun, family-style event for people of all ages,” says Bryce Patch, festival chairman. “It’s a great way to end the summer.”

The three-day festival is held every year at Preservation Park, located along Hwy 51 north of Beloit. This year’s event is slated for September 11-13.

In addition to rides and music from the likes of the Black Top Kings and Soul to Soul, Festival on the Rock includes a softball tournament, kart races, corrugated boat races, a Rock Idol singing contest, craft show, kid’s movie night and Beloit Bombshells roller derby demonstration. Last year, the event hosted the first Crime Stoppers 5K Fun Run/Walk. A popular bags tournament draws participants from across the Midwest. The festival also features plenty of food and beverage tents.

Festival on the Rock This Is Beloit Wisconsin 2 (Custom)One of the highlights of Summer

More than two decades ago, the festival started as a one-day event. Five years ago, event organizers expanded the celebration to three days in the event of bad weather. “If it was just one day and you had bad weather, you were done. With three days, you have a better chance of seeing two or three days of good weather. We’ve been fortunate to have many good days over the years,” says Patch, who, along with his brother, Fran, founded Patch Products, a leading company in the toy and board game industry in the early 1970s. The annual Patch Toy & Game Sale is held on Saturday at the festival and features educational and family games, toys and puzzles for all ages. Although the brothers sold the company last fall, Patch looks forward to volunteering for Festival on the Rock every year. “It’s one of the highlights of the summer,” he says.

Festival on the Rock draws thousands of people

Festival on the Rock This Is Beloit Wisconsin 3 (Custom)The Festival on the Rock draws thousands of people from across the Midwest every year. While admission and parking is free, the festival still manages to raise more than $40,000 each year. Proceeds from the event are used for ongoing development of Preservation Park, which was once owned by Beloit Corp. When the company shut its doors, the town of Beloit took ownership of the park and fundraising for capital improvements began.

Over the years, proceeds from Festival on the Rock have been used to add lighted walking paths, boat ramp, parking, playground, gazebo, two pavilions and a refurbished baseball diamond. Future plans include building another pavilion and a state-of-the-art community center that will be used for weddings and other special events. In addition, event proceeds benefit the Turner High School District to fund such equipment as books and laptops for students.

Local support has been key to the success of the event over the years. “We have more than 100 sponsors who generously support Festival on the Rock,” he says. “This really has become a great event that the Beloit community looks forward to every year.”

For more information, visit www.festivalontherock.com

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