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April 27th, 2015
Categories: News

April 27th, 2015

Artigras: NIU & the City of DeKalb’s Celebration of the Arts

Saturday, May 2, 2015

For more information on Artigras events, call (815) 753-1473.

Arts Parade

The Arts Parade will start in downtown DeKalb at 3:00 p.m. and end at the School of Art & Design by 4:00 p.m. View Parade Route Map
To enter a float, view guidelines or to volunteer for the Parade, click here.

What Is an Arts Parade?

It’s fun! It’s fantastical!  All are welcome to participate in the spectacle by becoming a part of moving art.  Wear a mask, make a banner, or maybe decorate a bike.  An arts parade is a chance to let your imagination free or simply see the creativity others have to share.  In the spirit of Carnival, an arts parade celebrates the visual and performing arts, featuring colorful costuming, musical talent, and much, much more.  Everything in an arts parade has a flamboyant and artistic twist. Join the festivities May 2nd and come see for yourself what an arts parade is all about.

How to Participate in Artigras


Organized groups must submit an application to receive an assigned space in the Artigras parade (see above link).  A “group” is five or more individuals.  Complete the Parade Entry Form and submit no later than April 24th. All groups are welcome and may participate in many ways.
•Join the parade.   Arrive with colorful costuming, artistic banners, wearable puppets, decorated rides, or some other form of visually creative expression.
•Perform at post-parade venues.  Singing, musical, acting, and dancing groups are welcome to showcase their talents.  Due to the venue limitations, pre-coordination with the Artigras committee is essential.  Early contact is encouraged.
•Sponsor Artigras activities.  If your group would like to volunteer time, talent, money, supplies, equipment or anything to support Artigras, please contact the Artigras committee at (815) 753-1473 with your ideas or to find out our needs.


If you don’t have an organized group, the easiest way to participate is to come and watch what’s going on, but why stop there?
•Wear something colorful and crazy:  Make a mask, a hat, or a costume.  Use balloons, paper mache, cardboard, or whatever materials you have on hand.  Decorate your shoes or wear a wig.  Put on a display.
•Carry something eye catching:  Bring balloons, pinwheels, or kites.  Make banners, streamers, and shakers.  Deck out your pet dog or cat.  Let loose your creativity.
•Arrive in a work of art:  Decorate your bike with streamers and balloons.  Convert your scooter into a cardboard spaceship.  If you ride it, embellish it.
•Walk in the parade.  Individuals expressing their enthusiasm for the arts are welcome to join the “Second Line” at the end of the parade as it progresses to the NIU Art Building.  A “second line” is a New Orleans tradition where the “main line” or “first line” is the organized section of the parade.  Those who follow spontaneously to enjoy the parade band’s music are the “second line.”  “Second lining” is the style of dance in which participants walk, twirl parasols, wave handkerchiefs and the like.
•Move and make noise:  Dance to the music, sing along, or make your own.
•Tour the art galleries and watch the performances.   Make it a scavenger hunt for your favorite work of art.
•Volunteer:  The parade committee is looking for motivated volunteers to serve as parade stagers and marshals.  Stagers will help get group entries into place and get the parade started.  Marshalls walk with the parade and help keep it moving without gaps in action. Submit the Volunteer Request Form (coming soon), if you would like to volunteer.

Have fun!  See the list of Arts Parade links below for inspiration. For more information on the Artigras parade, please contact Ellen Anderson, NIU Director of Special Events at [email protected]

Arts Parade Inspiration Sites
Art parade inspirational sites 
Cleveland Museum of Art Parade

Art Bike Parade

Costume Ideas

May Day Parade