Have the Time of Your Life!
Volunteers are the heart and soul of On the Waterfront. Over 250 members of the Steering Committee work all year long to produce the On the Waterfront Festival each Labor Day Weekend and numerous others help to produce our other events. Why do they work so hard? Mostly for the love of it. Where else can you help over 100 not-for-profit organizations raise half a million dollars each year? But besides that, Steering Committee members also receive:
There are 10 different committees that work year-round and are responsible for different aspects of the On the Waterfront Festival. These committees make up the Steering Committee for the Festival. Every committee has an Event Manager and one or more Assistant Managers who supervise the committee, manage the budget, and ensure that everything runs smoothly. In addition, each committee has many different positions and subcommittees within it that report to the Event Manager.
Other committees work year-round to help produce Groove Walk, The Perfect Party, The Rockford City Market and more.
If you are interested in helping to produce this fantastic city-wide celebration or any of our other events, please fill out and submit the following volunteer application.
Instructions for Completing Your Application
|If you have any questions please call the On the Waterfront office at 815-964-4388 or e-mailusIf you are having problems with the application, please print it out and fax it to 815-964-4399.
The Atmosphere & Signage committee works year-round and is responsible for transforming the 25-city blocks that comprise the festival grounds into a spectacle of light, color and drama. This is achieved through special lighting effects, large-scale art installations, bold pageantry flags and different themes in each venue. Colorful entrances, signage and directionals provide festival attendees with on-site information.
• Lot Coordinators and Team Members
If you can eat it or drink it, the Concessions Committee does it! They work with all the not-for-profit food vendors as well as the commercial food vendors, beer tents, and Pepsi tents and trailers. They also staff all the answer tents which are located in each venue to assist the food booths and to be a source of information for our festival patrons.
The Finance Committee is responsible for the accuracy and accounting of all the money, admission passes and food tickets at the On the Waterfront Festival. Volunteers need to be reliable, accurate and good with math and computers.
• Finance Coordinators
Letting the community know all the new and spectacular things happening each year at On the Waterfront is a big job. The Marketing Committee begins planning the following year immediately after the Festival. Working with graphic artists to produce award-winning promotions, Marketing produces all the brochures as well as places the advertising for print, TV and radio. Plus, they manage the media and public relations for the Festival and oversee OTW’s website. Waterfront’s VIP clubs and merchandising program are coordinated by Marketing and Marketing Committee volunteers staff the Waterfront Store at the Festival.
Need a fence put up? Did your golf cart break down? Who ya’ gonna call? Operations! From closing city streets to ensuring that there are enough port-a- potties for the 350,000 people that attend On the Waterfront, the Operations Committee is there. Operations handles security for the Festival, fencing, tents, golf carts, radios, ADA requirements, staging, lighting, electricity, tables and chairs, and more.
What would Waterfront be without all the other fun things for kids and grown-ups to do when they aren’t eating, drinking and listening to music! The Special Events Committee is responsible for the special events and activities that make Waterfront a continual source of entertainment, like the 5K Race, Wheelchair Basketball, Hole-in-one, and the carnivals. Each year they strive to bring new and different activities to the festival.
The Sponsorship Committee is the fund-raising and hospitality part of the Festival. Through the Admiral’s Club, Corporate Hospitality and Sponsor Relations, the committee ensures that the many important corporate sponsors of Waterfront get the exposure they expect and have a great time while here! The Sponsorship Committee also works on many of the special promotions for Waterfront.
The On the Waterfront Festival is just too big for only 250 Steering Committee members to run, so each year the Volunteer Committee recruits and trains over 1,500 additional volunteers to help during the Festival. From Festival Greeters to Schnucks Great Lawn Ushers, we couldn’t do it without the fantastic volunteers that this Committee recruits. They also recruit and organize the Waterfront Ambassadors, OTW’s corps of volunteers who serve as greeters at the Festival, answer questions, distribute brochures and serve as hosts on the RMTD shuttle busses.
Groove Walk is a music walk in the downtown River District. Held in May and October, it is produced in cooperation with the River District Association and the Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI). RAMI-nominated and Best of Rockford bands are hosted by some of the area’s best establishments.
• Groove Walk Chairs