Eleven-year-old Ethan Reattoir pretty much had to be dragged by his mother and sister to Art & Soul on the Fox on Saturday in Elgin.
By the time he'd listened to Jazz Consortium Big Band and perused a few artists' booths, the Geneva boy decided it was all worth it.
"I thought it was just going to be bad, but I like to shop and the band was amazing," he said, giving credit to his 15-year-old sister Sam for introducing him to swing music.
The fifth annual juried art show, billed as the Fox Valley's largest gathering of artists, artisans, music and theater, attracted about 75 artists and hundreds of people on Saturday.
Dana and Tom Redburg of Elgin roamed about, sangria drinks in hand from Chooch's Pizzeria. Both are "very amateur" photographers and especially enjoyed looking at photography works, they said.
"It's amazing what they capture," Tom Redburg said.
Arlington Heights residents Anne and Terry Keating bought a decorative recycled metal piece depicting a sun and moon that they plan to display on their porch, they said. "It's a beautiful day, and this was something to do," Anne Keating said.
The event is hosted by the Elgin nonprofit Art For All, and Art For All board member Pat Beckmann showcased her jewelry and ceramics.
"There are a lot of local artists, but there are a lot of out-of-town artists, too," she said. "This year we have the same number of booths (as last year), but definitely more people. I think it's because of the better weather."
Judges Rich Stachon and Jan Voogd scrutinized the artwork, clipboards in hand.
"What's important is the personality of the artist and how it comes through in their work," Voogd said.
"I look a lot for craftsmanship and originality," Stachon said.
Both also said they take into account the display, and how the artists carry themselves and interact with customers.
Art & Soul on the Fox continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today on DuPage Court, Grove Avenue and Spring Street in downtown Elgin.
Music continues noon to 6 p.m. today with performances by the Jukebox Heroes at noon, a gospel group at 3 p.m. and Jose Gonzalez & Salsaclasica at 5 p.m. Ninja Pirate Princess performs in the kids' area at noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
"Walkabout: Jumpers, Thieves, Cops and Spies," a walkabout presented by Janus Theatre Company, leaves every 15 minutes between 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday from the Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago St. Tickets are $20 at the door.
"Muse," featuring comic skits performed by Vex Theatre Company, is at 4 and 6 p.m. today at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St. Cost is $5.
Art: The event continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in downtown Elgin