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Educational exhibit added to Fiesta activities

Taste of Fiesta is Saturday; Fiesta Parade and community run Sept. 14

STERLING – An educational exhibit will be set up this week at Northland Mall as the most recent addition to festivities for the Taste of Fiesta and Fiesta Parade.

The exhibit will feature a 8-by-32-foot display of pictures, information and interviews about Silver City, the homes that Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. made from converted railroad boxcars for its workers. It will be on display for 4 weeks, said Irene Lewis-Wimbley, who is among organizers for the Taste of Fiesta.

The Taste of Fiesta’s Fun Fest will start at 10 a.m. Friday at Grandon Civic Center and go until 2 p.m., when local and regional bands and dance groups will start performing until 8 p.m.

Colleen’s School of Clogging & Celtic Dance, Whiteside County Senior Center Line Dancers, and a Zumba presentation will precede the bands, which include Son Del Viento, Mario Ganica, Hit City, DJ “El Rebel X” and El Mosco,” Crudos Trival and La Herencia.

The welcoming ceremony will begin at noon and feature proclamations by the mayors of Sterling and Rock Falls and the American and Mexican national anthems.

About 30 arts, crafts and business vendors and about eight food vendors will set up at 10 a.m. for the taste, said Kim Ewoldsen, executive director of the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Fiesta Parade had 66 float entries as of Tuesday afternoon, and will try to get 70 by extending the registration deadline to the end of this week, Ewoldsen said.

The parade will begin at noon Sept. 14 from First Avenue and 10th Street in Rock Falls, cross the First Avenue bridge into Sterling, and end at the Grandon Civic Center.

The parade’s grand marshals, who are all World War II veterans, include Guadalupe Rodriguez, 93, of Sterling; Manuel Garcia, 86, of Sterling; Paul Castillo, 88, of Sterling; Rafael Rios, 87, of Sterling; and Alfred Lopez, 86 of Rock Falls.

Before the parade, the first Bridge the Community run will be held. The kids run starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K and 10K will start at 9 a.m. Similar to the parade, the runs will start in Rock Falls and cross the First Avenue bridge into Sterling. However, the run will cross the Rock River back into Rock Falls for the finish.

The Bridge the Community run will raise money to help develop the riverfront in both Sterling and Rock Falls. The money will go toward projects that benefit both cities. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, the race had raised about $5,000, organizer Jack Spencer said.

To volunteer

Fiesta Parade float registration forms are available at the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, 211 Locust St. in Sterling, at, and at the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce, 601 W. 10th St.

Registration has been extended until 5 p.m. Friday.

Call 815-625-2400 to volunteer for the Taste of Fiesta or Fiesta Parade. Residents also can volunteer the day of either event by going to the gazebo at Grandon Civic Center.

For more information, to volunteer or to register for the Bridge the Community run, go to or or call Jack Spencer Insurance at 815-625-5100.

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