Straw sculpting competition open


MOUNT MORRIS – The Fourth Annual US National Straw Sculpting Competition is open on the Mount Morris Campus.

“Fine Art in Straw” sculptures will be on display for all to enjoy each day through Aug. 25.

Ten amazing new straw sculptures are featured in this year’s competition: “Learning the Howl” by Steve Lentz, Montello, Wisconsin; “The Early Bird” by Chris, Cecelia, Jeff, and Ellen Mann, Rockford; “Barbie Beauty Center” by Polished Hair & Nails and Hair on Main, Mt. Morris; “Who You Gonna Call” by Danica and Mark Rogers, Rochelle; “Rocking Horse” by Fran Volz, Rochelle; “Easter Island Moai” by Jeremy Lampkin and Juan Martinez, Rochelle; “To My Mom, Breast Cancer Survivor” by Evelyn Potter, Rochelle; “Eternal Peace” by Bobbi Stockton, DeKalb; “Giraffe” by Juan Zelaya, Hoffman Estates; and “Whatch your Fingers” by Neal Vogt, Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

The Big Community Straw Build started Aug. 13, behind Union Savings Bank next to Hwy 64 and continues until the sculpture is completed. Stop by and see how straw sculptures are built and enjoy some hands-on-time helping members of the greater community create something special. All are invited to help build the gigantic ‘Straw Saxophone a Musical Tribute’

StrawFest day, Saturday, Aug. 24 featuring: food trucks; Village Antique Mercantile, Noon-7pm; blacksmith demos, noon-4 p.m.; Wild Bulls (mechanical bull riding), noon-4 p.m.; round straw bale races, 2-4 p.m.; square dancing in the street (experienced and inexperienced all welcome), 4-6 p.m.; vehicle airbrush show; straw sculpting awards, 6 p.m.; and Illinois Rail, a great bluegrass band, live on the bandshell stage wrapping up the evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Featured for the month of August in the Encore! Old Sandstone Gallery, ‘The Airbrush, a Place in History’, celebrates the airbrush patented by Mt. Morris’ Liberty Walkup in 1883. Airbrush art and interesting historic displays about Walkup and others who studied in Old Sandstone when it was part of Rock River Seminary are displayed.

Visit and follow Encore Mt. Morris on Facebook for the latest information. All events are free and open to the public. ENCORE! Mt. Morris is a cultural initiative of the Mt. Morris Economic Development Corp. Learn more at