Group Raising Money to Restore Illinois Riverboat Tours

Mar 13, 2018

A group of residents is raising money to keep a park district-owned riverboat operating in northern Illinois this summer. 

The Rockford Park District's Forest City Queen Riverboat has offered scenic tours on the Rock River for almost four decades.

Park district commissioners this year suspended the riverboat's operations in Rockford as a cost-cutting move. Other programs and services also were cut.

Chris Manuel is CEO of Prairie Street Brewing Company. He's leading a "Save the Queen" effort to raise $22,000 by April 13. He says that would allow the park district enough time to get the boat ready to operate this summer.

Manuel recalls riding the Forest City Queen as a child. He says it's important for the community to have access to the river.