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Liberty Arts Festival

Dates: Now - Jun. 27, 2015
Category: Festivals
Location: Morris Downtown Development Partnership, Inc., Downtown Morris, Morris, IL 60450
Phone: 815-941-0245
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The new Liberty Arts Festival is coming to downtown Morris on Thursday, June 25 through Saturday, 27! "We are very excited to bring this new festival to downtown Morris and are looking forward to a weekend full of music, theater and plenty of art and art related activities", stated Julie Applegate, Executive Director for the MDDP.

The festivities will kick-off on Thursday, June 25. The Grundy County Historical Society Museum will be featuring local art and photography including the works of Larry Larsen, Virginia Brown, Elizabeth "Bunny" Mushro, Guy Osmonson and Tony Minard. The museum will be open on Thursday through Saturday from 10:00am – 3:00pm.

You won't want to miss Thursday's annual Steak Fry, sponsored by Century 21 Coleman-Hornsby. Located at the corner of Washington and Franklin, this event, will benefit Easter Seals. Be sure to stop by between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. And while you're at the courthouse, take a train ride during the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. A charge of $3.00 per person will benefit the Christian Youth Center of Morris. Rides will continue through Saturday.

Another event on Thursday is the "Making of a Superhero" drawing class at the Morris Area Public Library. The class, instructed by Dan Laib, is open to 11-19 year olds. Call (815) 942-6880 to reserve a space. Later in the day, at 5:30, animal lovers are invited to bring their pets to the courthouse lawn to express their artistic talents at "Paws for Painting". Prizes will be awarded to the best artists! Don't have a pet? Create your own canvas at Chapin's "Canvas and Cocktails!" Register by calling (815) 735-9250.

Those who would prefer to relax and be entertained, can remain at the Grundy County Courthouse and enjoy the music of a local favorite – "The Clients"! Additionally, the Morris Theater Guild will be performing "The Spirits of Evergreen" at 516 Illinois Avenue at 7:30 pm. Come and hear the life stories of our canal town's most interesting settlers! If you are unable to see them on Thursday night, there will be additional performances on Friday at 7:30 pm and on Saturday at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $5.00.

The fun continues on Friday with several activities for kids on the Grundy County Courthouse Lawn. Free face painting will be available Noon – 3:00pm, or the kids can do some painting of their own! From 11:00am – 4:00pm, kids will have the opportunity to paint a rock of their own, or for someone in the community that "rocks". Additionally, a large banner will be available for painting. The banner was designed by Morris' own, Anna Benson, a recent graduate of Shabonna Middle School.

Beginning at 1:30, there will be plenty of music on the courthouse lawn. Students from Denise Gillespie's School of Voice will be performing in "Grundy's Got Talent" until 4:00 pm. At 5:00 pm, the "Got Soul Jazz Quartet", featuring musicians from the First Presbyterian Church, will perform your jazz favorites. Then put on your "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Rock Around the Clock" to your favorite rock 'n' roll oldies at the final courthouse concert on Friday, featuring "The Rockin' Fenderskirts"

Another great activity on Friday is the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce's Wine and Beer Tasting at Rotary Park. Enjoy a variety of wines, ales, spirits and food while being entertained by local musicians, "Fleetwood Broc". Tickets can be purchased by calling (815) 942-0113 or emailing events@grundychamber.com

On Friday at 5:00 p.m. a pre-race deadline party will be held at Ebbey George's Bar and Grill for those participating in the Liberty 5K Run/Walk. Ebbey's is located at the corner of Liberty and Jefferson streets. While at the party, participants can sign up for the event or pick up their race packets. To sign up for the 5K in advance, visit www.libety5k.com.

The festivities continue on Saturday morning with "Kindermusik". Colleen Lawrence will help kids learn through music by singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. This activity is appropriate for kids up to six years.

There will be plenty of opportunity for creativity on Saturday as well. Kids of all ages will enjoy making their own paper using wood shavings and plant materials. Additionally, "Painting 4 Patriots" will give kids the opportunity to create heart shaped hand prints to send to troops. The face painter will be returning, and will be joined by a local artist creating caricatures for $5.00.

The highlight of the festival will be the "Art Walk" on Saturday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. The streets will come alive with an explosion of color and creativity when local artists discuss, demonstrate and sell their artwork. And "music and movement" will hit the streets when local dance studios and musicians perform in the area. The "Art Walk" will be located on Liberty Street between Jefferson to Chapin streets.

On your way back to the courthouse lawn, be sure to stop at TNT Dance Studio at 406 Liberty Street and participate in the Art Scavenger Hunt. Kids can pick up a list of art-related items to locate at the festival. Prizes will be awarded while they last.

Music will also continue on the courthouse lawn as Colleen Lawrence brings her stringed instrument students to perform. Their performance will be followed by the return of Small Town Theatrics of Coal City. Small Town Theatrics will present musical selections from this year's upcoming production – "Mary Poppins". Finally, students from Morris Community High School will be performing selections from this year's musical, "Grease". Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the courthouse lawn and enjoy these performances!

The afternoon will conclude with "Shine Music Jam"! Be uplifted by contemporary Christian musicians from local churches, and the popular Christian band, "Prodigal Path"!

Be sure to make one last trip to the Grundy County Courthouse at 6:30 pm to hear American singer and artist, "Teaadora". "Teaadora is known for their art performance and minimalist lo-fi droning and ambient abstract songs.

As the Liberty Arts Festival comes to a close, be sure to head to Chapin's Restaurant for the "After Party" and "Art on the Streets" Chair Auction. You have likely seen decorated chairs lining the streets on downtown Morris. This will be your opportunity to bid on one of the chairs and benefit a favorite chair-ity.

In addition to all of the events, the Liberty Arts Festival committee has made plans for plenty of food to be on hand with several food vendors in downtown Morris. Additionally, on Friday, Grundy Bank will host their Brown Bag Friday, featuring vocalist, Mary Pfeifer. Following the Brown Bag Lunch, the bank will host an Ice Cream Social from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Additionally, you can support "Habitat for Humanity" on Saturday by purchasing a meal at "Here's The Pork". Pork products will be served in the Morris Area Public Library's parking lot from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Take a break, from all of the activity and listen to live music in the area.

Finally, while in downtown Morris, visit our unique gift and apparel stores and restaurants. Many retailers will have sidewalk chalk, and special activities and music throughout the weekend!

Please note that the rain location for Shine Music Jam and the 6:30 pm concerts will be at Morris Community High School, located at 1000 Union Street. For a full schedule of Liberty Arts Festival events visit www.downtownmorris.com. Follow the special events link for a printable schedule of events. Julie Applegate may also be contacted at (815) 941-0245 for additional details.

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