The 100% Unofficial Sugar Creek Arts Festival Cheat Sheet

Normal, Illinois, will host the Sugar Creek Arts Festival July 18 and 19, 2018. This weekend event is sponsored by the McLean County Arts Center and is located on North Street from Fell to the circle and Beaufort from the circle to Linden Street. Normal is a twin city to Bloomington in central Illinois.

Artists for this annual event number 125 and will line the streets for this event. They will exhibit in categories including photography, painting, ceramics, glass, jewelry, etc. A full list of artists can be found at their here. The festival is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The artists will be present both days.

Food and Other Details for the Sugar Creek Arts Festival

Food trucks will be stationed at Constitution Boulevard. If you prefer, there are a number of dining establishments along the route including a deli, pizza place, coffee houses, pub, etc. There are live performance stages situated on Broadway and on the circle drive. Current entertainment schedule lists Dave Berchtold, Brian Choban Jazz, Leah Marlene, Marcos Mendez, Stone and Snow, Sugar Creek Cloggers, and Wildermore.

Free parking is available in the College Avenue Deck and surrounding surface lots. The Friends of the Constitution Trail is offering free valet bike parking on the northwest portion of the roundabout. There are also standard pay lots on Beaufort Street and the Uptown Station.

If you are traveling from outside the city, the Festival grounds are conveniently situated near the Amtrak Station near Beaufort Street. Looking for a place to stay? The Marriott Hotel is adjacent to the festival area and the Hyatt Place is nearby.

Uptown Normal Illinois

The term “Uptown Normal” is a reference to the concerted effort to revitalize the downtown business district of the city. Extensive investment in the area has resulted in a vibrant area of lodging, retail, restaurants, and entertainment. From below ground water and sewer systems to above ground businesses and housing, the area’s facelift has invigorated the district toward prosperity. Joining in the fun is the annual Sugar Creek Arts Festival.

McLean County Arts Center

From a small studio in 1870 assembling to study oil painting, this group became the Bloomington Sketch Club in 1892. In 1922 it morphed into the Bloomington Art Association. In mid-1979 the Center relocated to its current home and is an official agency of the County.

The McLean County Arts Center is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at designated times. It offers the community about 12 exhibitions each year. It also offers art classes, lectures, and workshops for both adults and children. They have a special section with the opportunity to rent or purchase artwork. It is the sponsor of the Spring Bloom Arts Festival and the Sugar Creek Arts Festival.

Recreation and Entertainment in Normal Illinois

Children’s Discovery Museum – This is an interactive experience for kids that includes a mesh climber and AgMazing, an agricultural exhibit of about 2,000 square feet.

Illinois State University Planetarium – Astronomy and science programs are presented at this facility in Felmley Hall on the college campus.

Challenger Learning Center – This facility is dedicated to critical thinking skills through space simulations. Appropriate for teams of children or adults.

Parks – These include children and Elders Forest, Constitution Trail, Hidden Creek Nature Sanctuary, and many more.

Ecology Action Center – Opening in 1995, this facility focuses on practical aspects of recycling, composting, energy saving, etc.

Golf – The Ironwood Golf Course is a public course. The Illinois State University campus sponsors the Weibring Golf Club. The Golf Learning Center is also available.

The annual Sugar Creek Arts Festival event supports the arts and artists, as well as the vitality of Uptown Normal. It is worth the time to visit the area.