Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Mail Delivery

Mail Delivery
We’ve got you covered! Get the best in local news, sports, community events, with focus on what’s coming up for the weekend. Weekly packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in Morris and Grundy County.

'Sip N' Shop' added to Liberty Arts Festival

Julie Applegate
Julie Applegate

The Liberty Arts Festival, scheduled for Thursday, July 13, through Saturday, July 15, is only a month away.  

Although I have been happy with the community’s enthusiasm for the festival, I have been looking for a fun activity to add to the event that will bring even more people to downtown Morris to enjoy the many art-related activities and visit many of Morris’ stores and restaurants.

I’m excited to announce a new activity during the festival – “Sip N’ Shop”!

You won’t want to miss this fun opportunity to wet your “pallet”!

“Sip N’ Shop will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 15.

Those attending the arts festival will have the opportunity to visit their favorite Morris retailers and restaurants and sample some great cocktails while shopping.  

Those who wish to participate are asked to pick up a complimentary glass and cocktail card (which lists participating businesses) at a table on Washington Street, in front of the Grundy County Courthouse.

Attendees also will be asked to prove that they are of legal drinking age, and will be given a wristband.

Our local businesses have come up with some pretty creative names for their cocktails such as “Gigi Revival,” “Pout Punch,” “The Front Porch Swing” and Blackbird’s Bowl’s “The Summer Splash Barktini.”

Not only are the cocktail names creative but so are the cocktails themselves.

You will have to see for yourselves what is in Ruby Begonias’ “Mermaid Water,” Applebutter/Shugie’s “Watermelon Crawl” and Hook’s Hideaway’s “Speakeasy.”

Attendees also will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite cocktail. 

We are asking participants to note their favorite on their cocktail card, leave it at the final store or restaurant they visit or return it to the table on Washington Street by
4 p.m.

The three stores with the most votes will receive a donation to their favorite charity.

Attendees will want to keep in mind that alcoholic cocktails will not be allowed outside of any business. And, of course, businesses may choose to verify that a participant is of legal drinking age, and have the right to deny cocktails where they see fit.

Attendees are not required to sample cocktails at every participating business.

Of course, there will be plenty of shopping outside of the stores at Saturday’s Art Walk. We have almost 50 vendors to date, and more are coming in almost daily.

Along with shopping, cocktail sampling and art, you won’t want to miss Saturday’s musical and dramatic performances, Shine Music Fest/Christian Music Experience and many other activities.

The festival will kick off on Thursday with food, the Artistic Pets Photo Contest and the City of Morris’ Concert on the Courthouse Lawn.

Friday will feature children’s activities at the “Creator’s Village,” more music, dance, a vinyl record exchange and much more.

A complete schedule can be found on the Morris Downtown Development Partnership’s website,

Printed schedules may be obtained by visiting most downtown businesses, calling 815-941-0245 or emailing

• Julie Applegate is the executive director of Morris Downtown Development Partnership. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools, organizations and sometimes Morris Herald-News staff to share news and information about their organization.

Loading more