Events | The Scene

5 Things to Do: Summer Splash in Rock Falls, Juneteenth celebration in Sterling this weekend

The Friendship Temple of Jesus Christ performs Saturday, June 17, 2023 at a Juneteenth celebration in Sterling. The event celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States was held at the Grandon Civic Center.

Here is a list of five things to do in the Sauk Valley this weekend:

1. The Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the summer season with its annual Summer Splash event June 21 and 22 at the RB&W District Park along the riverfront. The event is open to all ages and is free to attend. Festivities begin Friday, June 21, with food trucks rolling in at noon and activities beginning at 2 p.m. For more than 20 years, the chamber has hosted a summer festival event, previously known as Rock Falls Days. This year’s version includes a wider selection of food vendors and more interactive activities for families. The chamber added barrel rides at the petting zoo, which is returning, and a variety of family games including tug of war, potato sack races, chalk in the park, giant Jenga and Yahtzee, monster darts and more. A live improv theater by Woodlawn Arts will be performing, and Nicklaus Construction will host a movie night in the park, showing “Despicable Me 3.” For information, visit or call the chamber at 815-625-4500.

2. The Sauk Valley Diversity Alliance will host a Juneteenth celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the Sterling Grandon Civic Center, 304 Brinks Circle, Sterling. Admission to the event is free. The celebration features giveaways, poetry, vendors, music and activities. Food will be provided. The event also includes a morning workout led by Tameka Deatherage.

3. Unleash your creativity and watch the community’s creativity blossom at Brush and Bloom. Join Discover Dixon for a morning of painting, having fun and making memories, and share your creative vision on a sidewalk square from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 4, at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St., Dixon. Register by June 26 for $15. The cost will be $25 after June 26 until the event. Limited spots are available. This Discover Dixon event is sponsored by Dixon Autobody Clinic and KSB Hospital. Click on “Brush & Bloom” under the “Events” tab to register. Note: No outside paint is allowed. Paint supplies are provided, and no supplies will be handed out after 11 a.m.

4. The June 29 “Those Were the Days” presentation at the Oregon Depot Museum will feature Tom Wadsworth of Dixon. The speaker’s subject will be “Billy Sunday’s Remarkable Revivals in Sterling and Dixon, in 1904 and 1905.” Wadsworth’s one-hour presentation will reveal why the famous evangelist came to Sterling in 1904 and Dixon in 1905, details about the special “tabernacles” built for these five-week revivals, descriptions of the music and preaching in these meetings, opposition to the revivals, the results of the meetings (1,500 conversions in Sterling and 1,300 in Dixon), and an assessment of why they were so successful. The presentation begins at 10 a.m. The Depot Museum is located at 400 Collins St. For information about this program or other programs, call Roger Cain at 815-757-9715, Chris Martin at 815-742-8471 or Otto Dick at 815-440-0639.

5. The Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Committee will host its 39th annual Steak Fry in the Country at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at Ted Jacobs’ farm, 6700 Hickory Hills Road, Rock Falls. Attendees can raise funds for agriculture-related scholarships, discuss agricultural issues and celebrate Sauk Valley agriculture. A steak dinner will be provided. The event also includes a dessert auction created by Agri-business Committee members. The event will introduce and acknowledge the 2024-2025 agriculture scholarship recipients. Proceeds from the event will support future agriculture scholarships and agriculture-related education programs such as Ag in the Classroom, the Whiteside County 4-H program and area FFA programs. Tickets cost $25. The tickets will be available until July 26. To buy tickets, visit, call 815-625-2400 or see a committee member.

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Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.