By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — A power outage that turned a few blocks of the annual Stroll on State dark on Saturday evening was caused by a single mylar balloon that made contact with a power line near Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, according to ComEd.
The outage happened around 7:15 p.m., knocking out lights roughly between Madison and Second streets, as well as a couple blocks north of State Street in that area. Power lines sparked and fell onto the street near the intersection of Madison and Market streets.
“I appreciate the immediate response provided by ComEd and the city of Rockford fire and police departments,” John Groh, president and CEO Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which produces Stroll on State, said in a news release. “They ensured the safety of our guests and the ability for Stroll to continue.”
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Mylar balloons, which are shiny and metallic, are responsible for hundreds of outages around the country each year, power companies say.
Several downtown businesses lost power as customers were inside and were forced to close, or temporarily close, with nearly two hours left in the event.
“As several downtown businesses within event footprint were impacted by the power outage and temporarily had to close during the event, we encourage all Rockfordians to continue shopping and supporting local during the holiday season and beyond,” Groh said.
This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas.