Giant bugs and snails coming to downtown Naperville this summer

"We're all abuzz" graphic from Downtown Naperville Alliance advertising its giant bugs for summer sculptures
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The streets of downtown Naperville will be lined with giant bugs (plus a few mollusks) this summer. But not to fear: we’re not talking cicadas or other-world invaders. Instead they will be painted bugs, as part of the annual downtown Naperville summer sculpture series.

4 different types of creatures make up this year’s sculptures

The Downtown Naperville Alliance (DNA) will be featuring honeybees, ladybugs, caterpillars, and snails this year. There will be 18 sculptures in total.

Though the bug theme does seem timely with the upcoming cicada invasion, it wasn’t intentional.

“It really was not, it wasn’t to be paired with the year of cicadas,” said Katie Wood, executive director of the DNA. “But the marketing committee for the DNA, looked at these and just thought they were fun.”

Each will be sponsored by a local business or organization, with some returning sponsors and some new adds. Each group then works with an artist to create a unique design to brighten the streets of downtown Naperville. This year, some students will be lending a hand as well.

“I’d say also several of them are using, some high school artists from our local high schools. I know Little Luxuries, for example, is working with Naperville Central Fine Arts students,” Wood said.

The crowd of creatures arrived in town in March, and artists are reportedly already hard at work on such sculptures as Potter Place’s “Potterpillar,” Treasures Naperville’s “Play D’ Bug,” and Expert Level Home Services “Don’t Worry Bee Happy.”

“I think they’re really going to be great…I’ve seen some sneak peeks of several of the designs, and I think they’re, I think they’re really exciting,” Wood said.

Inching their way into downtown Naperville come June

They’ll be crawling and buzzing into downtown Naperville after Memorial Day, to be revealed the first week of June, and will hang around until September.

The Downtown Naperville Alliance will share a map on its website and place some hard copies downtown to help guide people to the critters’ locations. They can also visit the DNA’s website to vote for their favorite of the 18.

Summer sculptures a downtown Naperville tradition for many years

Bringing unique summer sculptures to downtown Naperville is a tradition that started with the United Way many years ago, Wood said, with that program ending in the early 2000s. The DNA then brought them back in 2012. The group has featured everything from hearts, to book benches, to pickup trucks, to last year’s dragonfly benches.

“People love them. they, they tell us they love them. So we keep doing it. and it’s just a fun thing to do when you’re downtown Naperville over the summer shopping or dining or enjoying yourself to wander around and see this fun artistry,” said Wood.

Image courtesy: Downtown Naperville Alliance

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