Dear OTW Patrons,
A metamorphosis has begun.
In the past few years, the OTW Festival has faced escalating operating expense and declining revenue due to the struggling economy, withdrawal of city support, continued high unemployment, decreasing sponsorship and rising entertainment and production costs. Following exhaustive efforts that included significant budget reductions, efforts to consolidate operations, increased in-kind support and elimination of staff, the Board decided that the organization can no longer “go it alone” and risk further financial losses.
Faced with these difficult financial realities, the Board of Directors has assembled a group of visionary community leaders with the goal of preserving and utilizing the assets of OTW to continue to provide significant celebrations, festivals and events for the community in the future. This effort is in its infancy, but we are encouraged by the progress.
We will never be able to thank you enough for your support throughout the past 29 years. There is no doubt that the festival was able to exist because of the support of our dedicated patrons. You made the festival a staple in the Rockford community for so many people, for so many years.
We sincerely hope that you share our pride in what the On the Waterfront festival has accomplished, not only as an organization that generated over $10.2 million for hundreds of local not-for-profit groups, but also as an organization that brought so many people together to make the community a better place. You all have personal memories that made the festival special to you, whether it was a reunion with an old friend you ran into, sitting front row at the concert of your favorite band, or the simple vision of your children on the Ferris wheel, we want to thank you for sharing the celebration with us for the past 29 years. We know that the festival was near and dear to this community, as well as the 1,000’s of visitors who came from all over the country to walk the streets of downtown Rockford on Labor Day weekend.
Words alone will never be able to adequately express our gratitude to you for creating this annual celebration and sharing memories with us for the past 29 years. Once again, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done to support the On the Waterfront Festival.
The On the Waterfront Board of Directors