Sugar Creek Arts Festival

Thousands of people attend the Sugar Creek Arts Festival every summer in uptown Normal.

MARIA NAGLE | MNAGLE@pantagraph.com

Twin City residences are filled with treasured, one-of-a-kind objects purchased at the Sugar Creek Arts Festival.

The annual summer festival in Normal has drawn art and music enthusiasts long before downtown became uptown.

Started 34 years ago, Sugar Creek is among the longest lived festivals in the Twin Cities, and it reigns supreme when it comes to local art.

Sugar Creek, as its called, was the Twin Cities’ first-ever juried art fair, started by Kup Tcheng when he was president of Normal’s Downtown Business Association and well-known local artist Fred Mills, who died in 2008.

Named after the stream that passes through both Normal and Bloomington, the festival has morphed from around 30 local artists exhibiting at its premiere to 130 artists and craftsmen who come from all over the country.

The festival, considered a mainstay cultural events, draws out-of-towners as well as community residents.

For two days each July, uptown streets are lined with booths of pottery, jewelry, sculptures, handbags, lawn decorations, photography, paintings, ceramics and glassware.

The offerings range from exquisite, finely crafted jewelry to yard decorations made from old golf clubs and other recycled items.

The often unique objects frequently find a permanent home in a cherished spot of the purchaser.

The hunt for that special piece is half the fun.

It’s the perfect atmosphere to mingle or get lost in the crowds while deciding what to buy.

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