Summer is right around the corner and school is almost out. With more free time on students' hands, they will have a variety of opportunities to go out and enjoy local music, food and art.
Make Music Normal
Make Music Normal 2018 is an all-day, free festival that will take place noon to 11 p.m. June 23 in Uptown Normal.
Musicians of all ages, skill levels and genres will perform all day long. Seven different stages will be set up around Uptown for performers.
Open mics and sit-in sessions will also be available to give any attendee the opportunity to make their own music. More information on performers is available at the Make Music Normal Facebook Page.
Illinois Shakespeare Festival
June 30 through Aug. 11
This year, the main stage productions are "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Henry V" by William Shakespeare and "Shakespeare in Love" by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman.
All productions will be held at Ewing Theatre.
This year, a revealing of “Shakespeare in the Land of Lincoln” symposium will explore Abraham Lincoln’s fascination of Shakespeare.
“There is a rich local history involving Mr. Lincoln from the years he worked in Bloomington-Normal,” Illinois Shakespeare Festival managing director William Prenevost said. “After Dr. Anderegg agreed to come of ISF to talk about his book with our patrons, local Lincoln scholars convinced me to expand it into a symposium.”
All festival-goers will have the opportunity to enjoy behind-the-scenes tours, live jazz music and nightly green show.
Medici Craft Beer and Jazz Street Fair
Medici will host its third annual Craft Beer and Jazz Street Fair on North Street from 4 to 10 p.m. July 21 in Uptown Normal.
The festival will have more then 45 craft beers available. Many of the beers are limited release of products not usually available in central Illinois.
Aside from the drinks, a stage will be set up for a jazz line up that will play live music throughout the evening.
Proceeds of the event will go toward benefiting the Children’s Discovery Museum and Uptown Panthers.
Sweet Corn Blues Festival
Aug. 25 and 26
To close off the summer and welcome back students, the 2018 Sweet Corn Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 26 in Uptown Normal.
Over 50,00 of sweet corn, sidewalk sales, arts, crafts and flea market vendors will set up stations at the festival for all attendees.
Like every year, any Illinois State University student with an ID will receive a free corn ear.
Illinois State University sophomore psychology major Max Fremer said the festival is a good way to spend an early afternoon.
“Every time that I have gone the weather is always nice. If nice to just spend a few hours there in the early afternoon,” Fremer said. “There’s always a lot of different displays and a ton of people.”