Sip into Spring Thanks!

Wow, what night! Here at Sterling Main Street we just can’t say enough Thanks You’s to everyone who took part in our Sip into Spring event last night, but we’re going to try….

THANK YOU to the Select Employees Credit Union for your sponsorship of this event.

THANK YOU to Denny & Jessica and the Champs Banquet Room crew for use of the space last night to end our event. The space is beautiful, and your hospitality is so appreciated!

THANK YOU to Michelle & John and the whole Smoked on 3rd crew for the great spread of food. As always, you rocked it!

THANK YOU to Kathy and Manny’s for the pizzas at the end of the night…they sure didn’t last long!

THANK YOU to the 14 businesses who opened their doors and welcomed our Sippers for the evening: UOI Boutique, Merle Norman, The Help Desk, Sterling Theater, Manny’s, The Factory, The Depot, Lisa’s Brickhouse, The Rusty Fox, Warner’s MVP Lounge, Primitive Frills, Smoked on 3rd, Country Financial and Champs on Light Street! We’ve got a great variety of businesses in Downtown Sterling and your willingness and enthusiasm for working together to bring people downtown inspires me every day.

And to all of you who came out for a night of fun and exploring in downtown Sterling, THANK YOU for your support of our community!

Check out our photograph gallery of the festivities…

Free Community Concert


The Sights & Sounds festivities continue with a FREE Community Concert Thursday evening, November 30, 2017 beginning at 7:00 PM at the Big Red Church (First Congregational) at the corner of 2nd Avenue & 4th Street in Downtown Sterling.

This free concert features performances by individuals, small groups, churches and organizations from throughout the community. Enjoy refreshments after the program.

If you would like to take part in the Community Concert as a performer, please contact Janet at the Big Red Church at 815-625-5112 for more information.

Thank you…

A simple “thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough to all who helped make Music Fest 2017 such a wonderful day.

To our sponsors – without your support this event would not be possible – Midland States Bank, CGH Medical Center, Walmart DC, Northern Illinois Cancer Treatment Center, Brothers Flooring, Grummert’s Hardware, Comcast, Fastenal, Select Employees Credit Union, Winstead Pallet & Mulch, McCormick’s Nursery, Astec Mobile Screens, Hollyhock Hill Farms, HALO Branded Solutions, Scholl Insurance, Yellow Dog Publishing, Edward Jones Agent Nick Lareau, Majeski Motors, The Precinct and North End.

To all our Volunteers – You guys ROCK! From a full day of set up in the heat and humidity on Friday with our core committee and friends at Distinctive Gardens; to a 16 hour day of fun on Saturday with ALL 50 OF YOU who contributed to the day; to our committee being right back at it Sunday morning for more tear down and picking up the last few pieces on Monday night. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

To our food vendors – Dairy Mart Plus and Papa Tom’s BBQ and Catering who have been with us since our first Music Fest 6 years ago, and Kokomo’s and The Cheese Market for joining us this year. Thank you for keeping everyone fed and hydrated!!

To our bands – Pete’s Sake, 3 on the Tree, Jaime Rojo, Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts and Royal Bliss – You all are amazing, and we hope you enjoyed your time in Sterling, and our beautiful Grandon Civic Center, as much as we enjoyed having you here. THANK YOU!

We also had two great photographers capturing the day for us, and we owe them a great deal of thanks – Lori VanOosten/Studio LPP and Jennifer Lubbs.   We’ll be sharing their great work soon!

And to our core committee, Jay Pauley, Dan & Robin Duncan, Mike Shull, James Jones, Brent & Denise Young – your countless hours of time and dedication to this event are what make this event happen!

Lastly, thank YOU to all who came out and spent all or part of the day at Sterling Main Street Music Fest, your support of our community, live music and the arts is so greatly appreciated! We hope you enjoyed your day!

And to anyone who I forgot to mention…..Thank you.


Hello, July!

Summer is in full bloom in downtown Sterling.  Bright pinks and greens dot the streetscape in the 36 lamppost flower baskets that were installed on June 8th.  A huge thank you goes out to the Distinctive Gardens crew and City of Sterling Public Works for getting them put up, and to Firehouse of God Ministries for keeping them watered for us all summer long.

Businesses are also blooming in downtown Sterling.  The new Merle Norman on 1st Avenue opened its doors in May and has been a great addition to downtown.   Two new businesses will be coming in July as well.   Primitive Frills will be opening around the 1st of the month in the former location of Tuff Dog Bakery, 7 E. 3rd Street.  The Help Desk, an educational supply store, will be opening July 8th at 325 – 1st Avenue.  No need to worry about Tuff Dog’s closure…they are still available at several locations throughout the Sauk Valley, including Air Play Sports, Showplace Antiques and Grummert’s Hardware, all in downtown Sterling.

The Twin City Farmers’ Market is in full swing as fresh, local produce and plants begin to fill the building, along with the scrumptious baked goods, fresh meats, eggs and cheeses available each week.   A shout out of appreciation is also due to MO-ST Plumbing & Mechanical for donating their services in keeping the Market kitchen cool for our bakers this summer in installing a new air conditioner!

July is also a month full of activities and events for the community to enjoy.   Movies at Grandon will be held on Tuesday, July 11th, featuring “Moana,” and July 26th for “Finding Nemo.”   Main Street Music Fest takes over the Grandon Civic Center in Central Memorial Park on Saturday, July 22nd.  We’ve got a great day of music, food and fun planned for this all ages event.  Tickets are on sale now on our website or stop by the office. Music also fills the air every Wednesday evening with the Sterling Municipal Band’s Music Under the StarsThese free community concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.

Get out and explore Downtown Sterling this summer!  For more information on these fun community events and more, visit our **NEW** website,, or follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Movies at Grandon begin June 13th

Movies at Grandon will return to Central Memorial Park this summer with five scheduled movie nights.  Movies will once again be held on Tuesday evenings, beginning on June 13th and on every other Tuesday through August 8.   The line-up for this year is:

June 13 – The Secret Life of Pets
June 27 – Storks
July 11 – Moana
July 25 – Finding Nemo
August 8 – Finding Dory

Sterling Main Street has once again partnered with the Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA who will provide fun activities for the kids before the movies beginning at 7 PM.  The activities will vary each week and have fun themes tying into each movie. Various community non-profits will provide concessions each night, including popcorn, beverages and other sweet treats.   The movies will begin at dusk.   In the case of rain, the downtown Sterling Theater has graciously opened its doors to us again this year to serve as a backup location. In the case of bad weather, day of announcements regarding location changes will be posted to our website and social media.

Join us for the first movie on June 13th and you will also be able to meet Brinkley, the Sterling Police Department’s comfort dog.

The year’s Movies at Grandon are presented by Select Employees Credit Union, JJM Printing, Dana Corp., Boston Leather, SBM, Sterling Federal Bank and the Sterling Kiwanis.  Additional support was also provided by the Sterling-Rock Falls Community Trust, Yellow Dog Publishing, The Factory Pub-n-Grub, Casey’s General Stores and Knutsen Cabinets & Countertops.

For additional information on Sterling Main Street, its activities and events, or to volunteer, please call the office at 815.626.8610, visit, or email  You can also follow Sterling Main Street on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Welcome Merle Norman

Sterling Main Street welcomes Merle Norman as the newest downtown business!  Congratulations to Becky Murray and her staff!!

Visit them on Facebook for additional information.


Lawrence Lofts

We are excited to announce the addition of residential housing to downtown Sterling.  Now under construction the Lawrence Lofts, located at the corner of 1st Avenue and East 3rd Street, will be 20 residential units, a mix of 1 bed/1 bath and 2 bed/2 bath apartment, and available late summer 2017.

For more information on Lawrence Lofts or to be placed on the waiting list, call 855-788-6311 or email