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PorchFest a no-go thanks to COVID-19 pandemic

Straw Sculpting Competition is still slated for August

Kinzleigh Miller, 7, of Mt. Morris, rides the Rocking Horse, one of the entries in the U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition in Mt. Morris in 2019. The horse's sculptor offered rides during afternoon events.
Kinzleigh Miller, 7, of Mt. Morris, rides the Rocking Horse, one of the entries in the U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition in Mt. Morris in 2019. The horse's sculptor offered rides during afternoon events.

Encore! Mt. Morris has made the tough decision to cancel PorchFest for 2020.

“We were cautiously optimistic and continued to plan as long as we could, but after discussion with the Ogle County Public Health Department, and in the interest of public health, we felt it best to reduce the risks associated with hosting a large public event,” said Jeff Bold, representing Encore. “An additional consideration included the impending start of the school year and the potential impact on the greater community. The decision was difficult, but the musicians scheduled and the supporting porch hosts are like family and we know it’s the right thing to do at this time. Thank you to the musicians and porches for registering, all worked hard trying to make 2020 happen and most have already committed to join us for PorchFest 2021 on Saturday, June 12.”

The US National Straw Sculpting Competition will open Aug. 7 and be on display through Aug. 23 on the Mt. Morris Campus.

Sculptures will be displayed with social distancing, voting will be on-line, and there will be no StrawFest day, normally scheduled for the closing weekend.

“We thank ComEd for being our event sponsor,” Bold said.

The Encore Fine Arts Show, ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’, scheduled for August in Old Sandstone Gallery has been cancelled. The Student Art Show, scheduled for Aug. 28 –Sept. 5 is under review to determine ways to make it safe for families to see their student’s artwork.

“Encore strives to safely provide art opportunities; and continues their mission of making Mt. Morris a rural destination for the arts. Encore! Mt. Morris is composed of volunteers committed to developing Mt. Morris, into a unique, thriving rural and cultural arts destination in northwest Illinois,” Bold said.

Visit EncoreMtMorris.com for more information on all events, or call the Mt. Morris Village Hall at 815-734-6425 to leave a message.