Urbana sets downtown arts/tree festival

URBANA — Downtown Urbana will stage its first Tree for All festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday to celebrate Urbana's Tree City U.S.A. designation and the growing arts district in the city.

For the festival, downtown businesses were invited to decorate the trees outside of their stores or create tree-themed art for their windows. The festival will include:

— Tree Trek, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. People start at the Market at the Square farmers' market in the southeast corner of the Lincoln Square Village parking lot, walk through Lincoln Square and go north on Broadway Avenue, west along Main Street and then along Race Street to view decorated trees and new public tree sculptures. People may vote for their favorites, with a winner being announced at the end of the day.

— 11 a.m. to 2 p.m Singing Trees. People may create wind chimes with help from the staff of the I.D.E.A. Store at County Plaza at Broadway and Main streets.

— 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Paint a Forest. Children may create a giant forest mural next to the Cinema Alley along Crane Alley, with help from local artists.

— 2 to 5 p.m. The Tree Guy. City arborist Mike Brunk answers questions about trees and hands out brochures, at County Plaza.

— 5 to 8 p.m., The Tree Swing. Dance to swing music by Bruiser and the Virtues at County Plaza.

Other activities may be added as the festival nears; updated information will be posted at the Tree for All festival Facebook page.

The Tree for All festival was organized by Susan Pryde of Eclectic, an artist co-op formerly called Shared Space at 123 W. Main St., U. The Urbana Business Association and city of Urbana are supporting the event. The hope is that Tree for All will grow into an annual fall family event, Pryde said.

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