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Mad Hatter Ball planned Sept. 28

PERU — The second annual North Central Illinois (NCI) Artworks Mad Hatter Ball will be Friday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Celebrations 150 in Utica.

“Everyone is invited to an exciting evening of music, art and merriment to recognize outstanding students of performing and visual arts,” said Chris Coughlin, president of NCI Artworks. “Our annual arts celebration will feature musical performances and visual art displays by eight talented local high school student artists.”

Local celebrity and actor Greg Tullis will reprise his role as the Mad Hatter host, introducing performances,leading the Parade of Hats hand-crafted by local artists, and crowning the “Queen of Arts.” The event also will feature performances by Sean Walsh and LaSalle Dance Center dancers, a DJ, food stations, cash bar, balloon prize pop, games, raffles, prizes, and more. Fancy dress is not required, but fancy hats are encouraged.

Coughlin said there are three candidates vying for the “Queen of Arts” crown. The winner will be the candidate with the greatest number of votes cast online beginning Aug. 28.

“This will be a great night of music and whimsy to celebrate the arts and shine a spotlight on the talented youth in our communities," Coughlin said.

Tickets are $35 apiece and can be ordered online at and purchased at A&B Paint Supply at 1321 Wenzel Road, Peru; Janko Realty at 2011 Rock St., Peru; and Music Suite 408 at 408 Fifth St., Peru.

The non-profit NCI Artworks supports and is expanding the arts community in LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties through artistic collaboration, educational outreach, and artspace development. Mad Hatter Ball proceeds benefit NCI Artworks programs and activities, including the new Community Artspace under construction in the Westclox building in Peru.

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