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Sugar Creek Arts Festival returns to Uptown Normal

Written by on October 8, 2021

Sugar Creek Arts Facebook Page.

NORMAL, Ill. – McLean County Arts Center and the Town of Normal present the Sugar Creek Arts Festival on October 9th and the 10th.

This event will be in its 37th year in Uptown Normal. Sugar Creek Arts Festival is voted number 1 for the Best Readers Choice Award in Pantagraph Media this year.

Executive Director of the McLean County Arts Center, Doug Johnson explains how the event came to fruition.

” The origins of this event started in 1984 when Fred Mills who was the Arts Department chair at ISU (in 1985) and Kup Tcheng the past president of Normal’s Downtown Business Association. They wanted to bring the community together during the summer months,” Johnson said.

Johnson said in the first year they had sixteen artists who showcased art from their cars. This reminded him of how one event started so small and became national.

The process to get an artist is fairly easy to complete for artist Johnson shares.

“We put out a call for artist by means of an online format, there is an application process,” Johnson said.

He explains what the process is like to put this kind of event together.

“We hire two independent jurors who give scores to the art and assign rankings and categories for the various amounts of artwork. Then we team with the Town of Normal to come up with the print for the location,” Johnson said.

Usually, the event is in July but was moved to October per the COVID regulations.

The different kinds of art will include Jewelers, Pottery, painting, and photography. The event will be busy this year having a total of 300 pieces, 15 musical acts, and two stages.

The event will have food trucks and local restaurants at the event. Artwork can be seen on North Street and Beaufort street. Artwork will be on display from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on both days.