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Streets to close Sunday to accommodate flash mob

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

MORRIS – A flash mob is being planned for downtown Morris on Sunday.

The Morris City Council approved Monday the closing off of Washington Street between Liberty and Wauponsee streets from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday to accommodate Brian Nolan’s request to film a flash mob sequence.

“[He] has done a number of videos throughout the community. ... He wants to do a Morris Christmas, that’s what he wants the title to be,” Mayor Richard Kopczick said.

A flash mob is when a group of people suddenly perform an act together in a public place for a brief time, usually capturing the attention of the public around them. In this case, the crowd will break out in dance.

Nolan, a Grundy County Historical Society board member, and a partner, plan to film the event and sell the DVD to raise money for the historical society. In addition, Nolan hopes to involve local families to send messages to their loved ones overseas.

When Nolan recently watched a video of a flash mob for the first time, he was in awe.

“The feeling I had when I saw them, it’s an uplifting thing,” he said in a phone call before the council meeting. “Not only for the dancers, but for the people watching them having fun.”

Nolan was not at the council meeting.

One Sunday when he was leaving Lonnie’s Arts Gallery on Washington, he noticed how empty the street was. With the Christmas music coming from the speakers on the street, he had a thought.

“I said, we have a dance floor here,” Nolan said.

He said he immediately thought of the flash mob video he recently saw and brought it up to Lonnie Mathison, owner of the gallery, who said he was all in. Pam’s Academy of Dance and Mueller’s School of Dance also have agreed to join.

The video will have different segments, one downtown Sunday and another about a week later with dancers in the courtyard of the CanalPort Plaza, where the Grundy County Historical Society is located, Nolan said.

At the end of the video, a segment will be added where local families will be recorded with special messages to their loved ones actively serving our country, Nolan said. The families will then get a copy to send to their family members overseas as a surprise.

Nolan said he is asking for local families interested in participating to call him at 815-941-2902. They do not have to participate in the flash mob portion.

The video will be available to buy at the Grundy County Historical Society museum, 510 W. Illinois Ave. in Morris.

The flash mob will be subject to the weather because of equipment needs. If it is too cold for the event, it will be at 8 a.m. Dec. 29 instead.

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