Celebrate Pelicans and the Community with Family and Friends

Free Admission

JR Finally Art Studio & Gallery, the Viillage of RocktonSinnissippi Audubon Society, and Natural Land Institute are pleased to partner together to present Rockton Pelican Fest for the community to experience and enjoy.

Rockton Pelican Fest is a celebration of the American White Pelicans migrating through the Rockton area and Nygren Wetland Preserve, the Rock River, wildlife and other natural assets surrounding Rockton, and promotes the local retail shops, eateries, and arts and culture of the historic Village of Rockton, Illinois.

Visit downtown Rockton shops and restaurants, outdoor vendor booths in the street/sidewalk area, participate in activities for kids and families, attend birding themed lectures and guided hikes.

Festival attendees will also be encouraged to visit nearby Nygren Wetland Preserve (3714 W. Rockton Rd.) to look for pelicans and other wildlife at the Wildlife Overlook. They can drive there on their own or use the free shuttle service provided by Stateline Mass Transit District from downtown Rockton. Guided hikes will be provided at Nygren Wetland at 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM. An Early Bird Walk will begin at 7:30 AM.


More to be added on an ongoing basis.

At Nygren Wetland Preserve Wildlife Overlook, 3714 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton
For the Early Birds!

7:30 a.m. Birders Hike at Nygren Wetland Preserve. Starts at the Wildlife Overlook: 3714 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton, IL. Free. No registration. Arrive a few minutes early. Tour will leave from the Overlook by 7:40 a.m.

Take the free shuttle bus provided by Stateline Mass Transit District from downtown Rockton to the Nygren Wetland Wildlife Overlook between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. It will pick up and drop off at the corner of Main and Prairie Streets on an ongoing basis (about every 20 minutes).

Guided Hikes start from the Wildlife Overlook at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., led by bird enthusiast and NLI Trustee, Rob Clark.

In Downtown Rockton 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Talks at Village Hall:
  • 11:00 a.m. – “Hoo” Haven with Rocky Road, the pelican
  • 1:00 p.m. – Peregrine Falcon presentation by Sinnissippi Audubon President, Jennifer Kuroda

Presentation by Bryan Holliday, time and location tba

Booths by:
  • 815 Outside – kids activity
  • Burpee Museum of Natural History
  • “Hoo Haven
  • JR Finally Art Studio & Gallery – make and take art, photo opps with Jerry the Pelican and a photo booth
  • Natural Land Institute – kids activity: Feed the “Pelican” – first 60 participants get a pelican sticker, plus prizes
  • Nature at the Confluence
  • Rockford Park District Atwood Center – see an owl and more
  • Rockton Remembers: Hononegah Statue
  • Sinnissippi Audubon Society – see a falcon and learn about all kinds of birds, Feed the “Pelican”
  • STEM for Kids

Specials and Features

  • Dairyhäus- Rocky Road Ice Cream
  • JR Finally Art Studio & Gallery – Whitman Post Elementary School Art Show “Fantastic Beasts”, 3 art demos, photo booth (see more details about what’s happening at JR Finally Art on their website)
  • Ray’s Family Restaurant – breakfast
  • After the Vine – Pelican Wine Flights, Pelican Viewing seating with a special
  • Pick-a-dilly Antiques – Specials on birdhouses and yard decor
  • About Face – Special Pelican Gloss Available
  • Talcott Free Library – Kids Crafts and displays
  • The Mix: Pelican donuts
  • The Gem Shop – 20% off all sterling silver & crystal corner
  • Rockton Inn Pub & Grub: BLT & Fries $10.99, Hot Dog & Fries $5.99, Day on the Beach Cocktails $5, Domestic Drafts $2.50
  • Sugar Britches – pelican suckers

Thank you to our Event Sponsors ($500 +)

Winnebago County Pheasants Forever

Sinnissippi Audubon Society

Thank you to our Participating Business Sponsors ($100+):

  • 815 Outside
  • After the Vine
  • Balsley Printing
  • Dee Dee’s Cafe
  • Edward Jones Brenda Brugger CRPC
  • HD Jameson House
  • “Hoo”Haven Wildlife & Education Center
  • JR Finally Art Studio & Gallery
  • Natural Land Institute
  • Pick-A-Dilly Antiques
  • Positive Changes Chiropractic
  • Ray’s Family Restaurant
  • Rockton Inn Pub & Grub
  • Sanctuary Spa
  • Sugar Britches Old-Fashioned CANDY
  • The Gem Shop
  • The Village of Rockton
  • Wild Birds Unlimited (Roscoe and Rockford)
Would you like to sponsor this event? Contact Jill Martin-Golden for information at goldrays910@gmail.com or call her at: 815-742-4631.

Event Sponsors ($500 +)


Free Shuttle Provided By


Participating Business Sponsors ($100)