Straw sculpting competition returns


MOUNT MORRIS – The Fourth Annual US National Straw Sculpting Competition opens Friday, Aug. 9 at 6 pm.

Ten new straw sculptures are coming to the Mount Morris campus square for another unique presentation of “Fine Art in Straw.” The sculptures will be on display for you to enjoy each day through Aug. 25.

This year’s competition will be judged for two awards; People’s Choice public voting by all visitors, and Artist’s Choice voting by the competing sculptors. The winners will be announced during the festival’s grand finally on StrawFest day, Saturday, Aug. 24.

The Airbrush, a Place in History, celebrating the Airbrush patented by Mount Morris’ Liberty Walkup in 1883 and additional historical displays will be Encore’s Old Sandstone Gallery show for August.

Jamboree music live in the evenings on the bandshell presents: Kyle Lacy and Harlem River Noise (Rockabilly) on Aug. 9, Boot Leg Flyers (Rock & Roll) on Aug. 10, Chicago Tribute Anthology on Aug. 16, Aireloom Music Studio (Drum Circle) on Aug. 17, The Barb City Stompers (Swing Jazz) on Aug. 23, and Illinois Rail (bluegrass) on Aug. 24.

StrawFest day, Saturday, Aug. 24tfeatures: food trucks, Village Antique Mercantile, blacksmith demos, Wild Bulls (mechanical bull riding), round straw bale races, square dancing in the street (experienced and inexperienced all welcome), vehicle airbrush show, straw sculpting awards, Illinois Rail (bluegrass) live on the bandshell stage wrapping up the evening.

Sunday, Aug. 25 the village will celebrate the 180th Anniversary of the Founding of the Rock River Seminary on the Mount Morris Campus.

In additional to the above, the festival includes:

Big Community Straw Build, members of the greater community, including visitors, are invited to help build our gigantic Straw Saxophone a Musical Tribute’starting Aug. 12, on Hwy 64 behind Union Savings Bank. See how straw sculptures are built and enjoy some hands-on-time helping create something special.

The Straw Jam Stage, an informal live music venue in the shade, next to the straw sculptures, will feature various music. Details and information on all the events is available online at

Encore! Mt. Morris is composed of volunteers committed to developing Mount Morris, into a unique, thriving rural and cultural arts destination in northwest Illinois. ENCORE! Mt. Morris is a cultural initiative of the Mount Morris Economic Development Corp. Volunteers and donations are welcome. Learn more at, also on Facebook.