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A weekly series focused on Bloomington-Normal's arts community and other major events. Made possible with support from PNC Financial Services.

3 things to do this weekend: A block party, a block party and a block party

A crowd of families gathered at a festival

Here are 3 things to do for the weekend of Aug. 19 and 20, 2023, curated by WGLT's Lauren Warnecke. You can find more coverage on our Datebook - Arts & Music page or by subscribing to WGLT's Weekend Scoop email newsletter, which goes out every Friday.

Downtown: New York jazz vocalist Brianna Thomas headlines Jazz UpFront’s annual jazz and blues-forward fest. Chicago vibraphonist Thaddeus Tukes and Springfield-born country artist Gracia Harrison, from season 3 of “The Voice,” are additional highlights from among the dozens of solo artists and bands. 1 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of W. Front St.; free. Details on Jazz UpFront’s Facebook page.

West Side: West Bloomington Revitalization Project hosts its annual West Fest with a back-to-school theme. Healthy in a Hurry and Carl’s Ice Cream will be on hand for the eats, plus family-friendly activities and music by EJ Allen, Dylan Karraker, Hannah and the Sweet Nothings and Marcos Mendez. 5-9 p.m. Saturday in the 700 block of W. Washington St.; free. Details at westbloomington.org/westfest.

Inside: Pick up your last-minute notebooks and pencils at this school supply drive while letting off some end-of-summer steam with rap performances by Darius, V8 Vast Change, and Brutha Rick with Javier Zachi at the Castle. This back-to-school block party also boasts an open mic beginning at 4 p.m., where you can test out your latest (PG-13) beats. 3-8 p.m. Sunday at the Castle Theatre; free. 309-820-0352.

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Lauren Warnecke is a reporter at WGLT. You can reach Lauren at lewarne@ilstu.edu.
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