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Trucks And Tunes Outdoor Celebration Continues in Rockford

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Restaurant owner creates Trucks & Tunes monthly community celebration.

A Rockford restaurant owner seized the opportunity to bring the community together after the building next to his establishment was torn down.

Paul Sletten is the chef and owner of Abreo restaurant, 515 E. State St. He said he thought the empty lot would be great for food and fun without the need to block traffic.

“And we used to do block parties that would close off State Street,” he explained. “But again, now we have the space it’s right there on that same block, but it's off the street. So better traffic flow and, you know, less negative impact to the rest of the community.”

Sletten said he’s been in downtown Rockford for 17 years, and he appreciates how many places for people to gather have grown in the city.

“Just love having one more space. And it's right on Block 5, which has always been kind of an anchor block downtown,” he said. “You've got other great businesses, you know, like the Irish Rose has been down there.”

Sletten began working with the city about a year ago to make this happen.

“Asking if we can get some permits to do some events there. And they also helped by putting in some power sources, and they maintain the lawn,” Sletten said. “And so hopefully, we'll get this as a permanent event space that can be used by us and other businesses.”

Trucks & Tunes on Block 5 offers a variety of food trucks and vendors as well as different musical acts. The next free event takes place Wednesday, July 21 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and happens every month through November.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.