Normal-Palooza celebrates arts and aids school programs in Chattanooga

Normal-Palooza celebrates arts and aids school programs in Chattanooga

November 13th, 2011 by Naomi Jagoda in News

Jerry Bowman performs his Classic Mime Show for an audience Saturday. The Normal-Palooza arts and music fesitval was held outside the Normal Park Upper School on Saturday.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

Zack Stevens, 4, right, looks back at his mother while actors portraying a Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and a Snow Trooper pose for photos Saturday. The Normal Palooza arts and music fesitval was held outside the Normal Park Upper School on Saturday. The festival drew crowds with dozens of vendors and performances.

Zack Stevens, 4, right, looks back at his...

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

Amy Carter works on a caricature of Owen Rutledge, 10, background, to raise money for the Normal Park school's art department on Saturday. The Normal Palooza arts and music fesitval was held outside the Normal Park Upper School on Saturday. The festival drew crowds with dozens of vendors and performances.

Amy Carter works on a caricature of Owen...

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

Amanda Porter tries out a hat on Carson Porter, 2, while his brother Zach, 6, looks on at the JK3 vendor tent on Saturday. The Normal Palooza arts and music fesitval was held outside the Normal Park Upper School on Saturday. The festival drew crowds with dozens of vendors and performances.

Amanda Porter tries out a hat on Carson...

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

Courtney Ingram pulls up her hood while manning the JK3 booth Saturday morning. The Normal Palooza arts and music fesitval was held outside the Normal Park Upper School on Saturday. The festival drew crowds with dozens of vendors and performances.

Courtney Ingram pulls up her hood while manning...

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

Claudia Finlay, a 4-year-old prekindergartner, had fun playing on an inflatable moon bounce and slide at Saturday's Normal-Palooza.

While waiting in the line for the ride, Claudia's mother, Lori Finlay, sang the praises of the Normal Park Museum Magnet lower school, where her daughter attends.

"The teachers are great," she said. "[Claudia's] really enjoyed it. She's been looking for her teachers since she got here."

At the eighth annual Normal-Palooza festival and fundraiser, community members could participate in activities including listening to live music, eating food from local establishments, playing on carnival rides and getting their hair sprayed bright colors.

Money raised from the event will go to programs such as field trips and art and Spanish teachers, said Jennifer Crutchfield, the event's marketplace chairwoman. Vendors -- including food, clothing and art stands -- paid to sell their work at the booths that lined West Mississippi Avenue by the Normal Park upper school. People also bought tickets for games and rides, and businesses sponsored the event.

Organizers expected the event to raise about $18,000.

The Normal Park schools partner with museums and the local artist community, and the festival is a reflection of the school's ties to the art world, Crutchfield said.

Carl Pendergrass, who sells copper sculptures and had a booth at the festival, said he supports the arts in schools because he thinks children do better in school if they have art.

"You stimulate the mind to work when you put art in front of them," he said. "You excite them."

Crutchfield estimated that thousands attended the festival.

"I saw some [University of Tennessee at Chattanooga] students," Normal Park PTA board bember Rich Mak said. "It's a great community event."

Mike Martin of Flippy's Smokin' BBQ enjoyed having a stand at the event.

"We just wanted to jump in and help the schools," he said. "Looking forward to next year already."

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