May Events

May has finally graced us with its presence and it brings wonderful events along with flowers and sunshine just before (and some after, for those of you sticking around) graduation. We’re going to avoid having graduation itself on this list so those of you ignoring its ever-looming presence may be at ease and are instead going to focus on some of the lighter and less real-life-inducing things you can do around town this month. With events ranging from the swansong of a local music staple to the always pleasant opportunity to take in some nature, we hope we’ll find a little something for everyone this month.

For those of you graduating, we wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors and we thank you for sharing some of your time at the U of I with us here at the UGL. Congratulations to the class of 2016!

Photo taken from methodshop on Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo taken from ScypaxPictures on Flickr Creative Commons.

 

How to Be Single at the Illini Union – May 6 and 7 at 7pm

Sometimes it seems like the only way to make it through finals is to watch a laugh-out-loud movie with friends. Lucky for you, the good folks at the Illini Union are going to screen the new How to Be Single movie, starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson for those of you looking looking to take a break from all that cramming. This funny, smart, not-so-original rom-com may be all you need to get you through this coming week.

Photo taken from Facebook event page.

Photo taken from Facebook event page.

The Final Show at Mike N Molly’s – May 13 at 7:30pm

Many of the events blogs we’ve posted in the past have featured glimpses into the deep musical soul of our twin cities and many of those past events have been hosted at one of CU’s finest local music venues: Mike N Molly’s. As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and May 13 will be the final night for locals to bask in the glorious sounds that can be found emanating from the glorious green bar in Downtown Champaign. Local giants Withershins will play the final set ever and while we would advise seeing them anytime they’re playing around town, we think this performance will be even a bit more special. It’s a night that will be remembered for many years to come just like the ceremony happening the days following it.

University of Illinois Arboretum.

University of Illinois Arboretum.

Visit the UI Arboretum – Anytime

If you’ve never been to the Arboretum over near the intersection of Lincoln and South Florida Avenues, anytime in May would be the perfect time to visit. The Japan House is a serene spot where you can simply sit and watch an afternoon slip on by or if you head toward the back of the Arboretum you’ll find yourself lost in the flowers of the Selection Garden, sure to be in bloom by the end of finals and offering more colors than you can imagine in one place. The Idea Garden is another beautiful spot to spend some time in and overall, we think you’ll find some sense of inner peace when walking around on a sunny day. And after finals, that may be just what you need.

Photo taken from the Champaign Park District.

Photo taken from the Champaign Park District.

Sounds at Sunset Concert Series at Clark Park – May 22 from 6pm to 8pm

Champaign-Urbana is chock full of lovely parks that are a great place to spend a summer day and the Parks District is looking to bring even more people to them this summer with their Sounds at Sunset Concert Series. May 22 will feature the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project, a group that is sure to play some lively and intricate tunes that could be the cap to a perfect weekend. The parks department encourages you to bring chairs and refreshments, so put on your weekend shorts and shades and listen to some great music as the sun goes down before another work week.

Photo taken from the Champaign Park District.

Photo taken from the Champaign Park District.

Sholem Aquatic Center Opening Day Celebration – May 28 from 11am to 7pm

Summer and all its sunshine and warmth will hopefully be in full swing by the end of the month and the best way to cool off is to hit the pool. Sholem Aquatic Center will be celebrating its opening day and for only $9 for admission, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to beat the heat.

 

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April Events

There’s movies, there’s art, there’s even Mom’s weekend (though we’re gonna skip that to highlight some other cool things going on). As the semester winds down and graduation looms, you may find yourself feeling a little misty-eyed and shut-in, so why not try to hit the town and beat the end-of-the-year blues by going to one of the cool events we’ll highlight below?

Photo taken from event's Facebook page.

Photo taken from event’s Facebook page.

Boneyard Arts Festival – April 7-10

Champaign County is filled to the brim with creative people making art in a variety of ways and the yearly Boneyard Arts Festival brings the work of these varied and abundant individuals to the forefront of the community for 4 days each Spring. This festival isn’t limited to just the typical art galleries across campus and around town; you can find work from artists in non-traditional locations such as retail stores and salons. It’s the perfect time to go out and get inspired and see the huge amount of work being produced by artists of all kinds right here in our own backyard. Their new website is also really cool and features some videos from past festivals that will give you an idea of the variety in store.

Photo taken from event's Facebook page.

Photo taken from event’s Facebook page.

Ebertfest – April 13-17

One of CU’s most noteworthy former citizens and a proud alumnus of UIUC is Roger Ebert, the famous film-critic who popularized the now everyday idea of giving things a “thumbs up” and informed moviegoers of what was new and exciting at the cinema for years. Each year, CU is fortunate to have a small slice of Hollywood drop in for a few days in Ebert’s honor as new films are premiered and stars of the screen find their way to our humble sister cities to present their films. This year will be no exception with famed director Guillermo Del Toro making an appearance on opening night and plenty of movies are slated to delight audiences. If a festival pass is too pricey, and you just wanna catch a movie, tickets are $13 for students. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet Guillermo and find yourself in the next Pacific Rim!

Photo taken from event's Facebook page.

Photo taken from event’s Facebook page.

Jim Ottivani Talks Comics and Science at Grainger Engineering Library- April 15 at 7pm

Alan Turing was a wholly brilliant scientist that was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the recent Academy Award winning film The Imitation Game. That film was based on a book about that brilliant man and Grainger is now happy to bring the author of a graphic novel based on that book to their library! Ottivani is also an alumnus of UIUC and his graphic novels have won many awards and are available in our graphic novel collection on the Lower Level. RSVP to the Facebook event by following the link below:

http://www.facebook.com/events/1574951326157402/

Photo taken from Illini Union's calendar page.

Photo taken from Illini Union’s calendar page.

Phoenix Improv at lllini Union – April 21 and April 28 at 7

If you’ve never been to any sort of improvisational comedic performance, you absolutely need to rectify that situation by catching Phoenix Improv at the Union for free. Improv is the basis for a lot of the TV plots you watch in your favorite comedy shows and some of the funniest actors and actresses of all time got their start doing improv at various levels. And, since we’re only a short trip from the famous Second City in Chicago, you never know who might move on from one of these Union performances to make a splash in Hollywood.

Illini Baseball vs. Minnesota – April 29 – May 1

By this time, the sun should be shining and those May flowers should be popping out of the ground and we can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend than root root rooting for the home team as they take on Minnesota in three games across the weekend. Two day games also mean you can still have the night to do as you please!

Did we miss anything? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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March Events

March is possibly the best month for events as winter finally starts to dwindle away and as the snow melts, the city shakes itself into a frenzy of activity. We can’t promise that the snow is going to stay away all month, but we can promise that CU is rife with events that are worthy of your time and we’ve done our best to come up with a list of some of the greatest you can find. We’ll assume you already have plans for spring break and will leave that week and weekend out.

Poster for Grapes of Wrath at Krannert

Photo taken from Krannert website.

The Grapes of Wrath at Krannert March 3-13
John Steinbeck is undeniably one of the greatest authors America has ever produced and many believe “The Grapes of Wrath” to be his finest work. Yeah, that book you read in high school about the Dust Bowl, you remember it. Well, Krannert is putting on the staged production of the novel for a few weeks and it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss. The working class struggles of the Tom Joad and his comrades are ones that resonate as deeply today as they ever have, so give yourself a nice night at the theater and check this one out for only $10 student tickets.

Poster for Urinetown

Photo taken from Illini Student Musicals website.

Urinetown at Gregory Hall Theatre – March 11 and 12 at 7:30pm and 13 at 2:30pm
Illini Student Musicals is an organization dedicated to putting on high quality musical productions here at the University and will be presenting “Urinetown”, the Tony-Award winning musical romp by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis. Musicals aren’t necessarily for everyone, but this is one that even the most discerning person will find themselves in stitches by intermission. Tickets are only 10 bucks for student and the three nights make it a flexible plan for even the busiest person.

Photo Noir Art Show at Gallery 217 – March 11 through April
While one could simply visit the new Student Art Gallery on the Upper Level of the UGL, one may also want to make a trip out of seeing new and exciting local art. Gallery 217 has a fantastic downtown location and has been putting on amazing art shows featuring local and regional talent. We suggest hitting Pekara just up the road for some bread then checking out the brooding and beautiful noir photography work this show will offer.

Watson’s Shack & Rail – Anytime
Normally we try to pick specific events for these posts, but since Spring Break falls right in the middle of March, we thought we’d give everyone something they could do that week if they’re around or another week if they feel like it. One of the hottest new restaurants causing mass salivation in downtown Champaign is Watson’s Shack & Rail, the new fried chicken place. If that alone doesn’t excite you, take a look at their website. How good does that look? And for those of you with dietary restrictions, the locally sourced salads and grilled cheese look like they surely won’t disappoint. Make a night of it!

Poster for Spotlight Film Series

Photo taken from Illini Union website.

Spotlight Film Series: Carol at the Illini Union – March 29 at 7pm
Though this blog was written before the Oscar’s and we therefore do not know the results, we can still say that “Carol” is one of the top movies that came out in 2015 and is one you surely don’t want to miss. So long as you have your i-Card, you can see this movie at the Union on March 29 for free (along with other great movies featuring stories highlighting the struggles women have faced throughout history the rest of the month). This one’s a no-brainer, really. Free. Award nominated (and possibly winning). Free. Done.

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International Science Fiction Film Festival

The University of Illinois Library is excited to announce the International Science Fiction Film Series, to be held February 23rd and 25th from 7 to 10 PM in room 66 of the Main Library. Each day of this fantastic cinematic event will consist of two films, one acclaimed short, food, and discussions. Check out the schedule below!

Tuesday, February 23rd from 7-10 PM:

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Come find your new favorite science fiction film at the International Science Fiction Film Festival!

Planeta Bur
The first film of the lecture series will be the Russian feature Planeta Bur (Planet of the Storms). Released in 1962, Planeta Bur follows two Soviet spaceships on a mission to Venus. After one ship is destroyed by a meteor, the remaining two ships land and explore the planet hoping to gather information about Venusian life. The trip takes another turn as the crew of the two ships encounter beastly aliens, mysterious rocks, and unforeseen dangers. Because of its groundbreaking, and often copied visuals by Pavel Klushantsev, Planeta Bur has had a significant influence on the genre, making it the perfect film to launch our lecture series. The film will be introduced by Richard Tempest, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Brainstorm
Have you ever wanted to experience someone else’s mind? Brainstorm features an all-star cast led by the incomparable Christopher Walken and Hollywood icon Natalie Wood, in her final role. A group of brilliant researchers have developed a system of recording people’s actual life experiences and thought processes with incredible detail. These events can then be experienced by others using a special device. The head researcher, played by Walken, loses control of the experiment as nefarious government agencies aim to manipulate the technology for their own agendas. This film will be presented with commentary by College of Media Professor and sci-fi effects expert Julie Turnock, whose Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics has just been published by Columbia University Press.

Thursday, February 25th from 7-10 PM:

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Yongary
The second night of this exciting film series will delight fans of kaiju on rampages. Yongary, directed by Korean filmmaker Ki-duk Kim, begins when an atomic blast causes massive earthquakes—or so it seems. The earthquakes are revealed instead to be a new and terrifying threat that was awakened by the blast: Yongary, an amphibious monster who shakes up Seoul. Often called the Korean Godzilla, Yongary is a definite popcorn movie that is sure to delight fans of classic monster tropes and effects. The film will be presented with commentary from Robert Cagle, the cinema studies specialist for the University of Illinois Library.

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Big Man Japan
The final film of the lecture series will bring humor and subversiveness to the genre. Big Man Japan follows the life of Daisoto, who is continuing his family’s long-standing tradition of defending Tokyo from monsters. Constantly belitted, and always lamenting his family’s history, Daisoto must conquer not only the monsters at Tokyo’s door, but his own negative reputation. If you are looking for a movie that offers excitement, a contemporary twist on super-monster films, and a hefty dose of weird, this is the movie for you. This 2007 film will be introduced by Richard Leskosky, a local legend in the film community and internationally renowned expert on animation film.

The Science Fiction Film Lecture Series will take place in room 66 of the Main Library. The series will be open to UIUC faculty, staff, and students only. Refreshments will be provided during the series. Have any questions? What are your favorite international science fiction films? Tweet at us (@askundergrad) or let us on know you’re coming on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at UIUC).

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Valentine’s Week Events

Valentine’s Day can be a bummer for some and a lovely day for others and we’re here to help you with however you plan on feeling this coming Sunday and all week. There are a ton of things for those of you lovebirds who haven’t made plans yet and for you lone wolves looking to spend this week like it was any other week, one of which is happening all week right here in the UGL!

Blind Date with a Book Display

Use our dating service Sparks to swipe right and fall in love with a book!

Stop by the Upper Level to find your match made in heaven (or someplace else) this Valentine’s week. We have books and movies ready for those of you that love a good love and for those of you that hate a good love. Our dating service “sparks” is sure to find some sort of match to you, so be sure to swipe your new companion right to the Circulation Desk and enjoy!

And for those of you that don’t plan on making it into the library, check out this nifty infographic to find an appropriate piece of media to indulge in.

Valentine's Day Movie Flowchart

What movie should you watch next? Check the flowchart to find out!

Now, onto the non-UGL events.

Coconut Macaroons

Photo from Flickr Media Commons, courtesy of Stacy.

Coconut Macaroons at Mirabelle, Pekara, Rick’s Bakery, and/or Strawberry Fields – When they’re available

Smile Politely did the seriously difficult and life-threatening (joking) work that was tasting these little bundles of coconutty joy and reviewing the bakeries that baked them for you. No one stood above the other according to the article, so we suggest hitting up every single bakery listed and grabbing some of these macaroon’s to snack on with or without a partner. While you’re at Pekara, we also highly suggest getting a frozen hot chocolate despite the cold because it’s one of the most delicious things you can have.

Casablanca Movie Poster

Photo from Flickr Media Commons, courtesy of Breve Storia del Cinema.

Casablanca at the Art Theater – February 14 at 11:30am and 7:30pm

If you’ve never seen this masterpiece of American cinema, now is the time. Casablanca is a seriously amazing movie that has stood the test of time and stayed in the public consciousness like no other movie; it’s just one of those movies. Humphrey Bogart is the epitome of cool and his performance is worthy of a full text-book alone; it’s not exactly surprising, therefore, that there literally are books dedicated to this movie alone. The Art Theater is one of the crown jewels of downtown Champaign and if you need a date idea for the night, there’s probably nothing more romantic than catching this black-and-white masterpiece and hearing Ingrid Bergman’s world famous “kiss me” line (among the million other amazing quotes from this).

Bullnettle

Bullnettle. Photo taken from The Accord website.

FREE show at The Accord featuring Bullnettle, Tongue Party, and Orator – February 14 at 7pm

Unofficially dubbed the “Valentines Shmalentines” show, this free night at The Accord in downtown Champaign is the perfect getaway for those of you that literally want to shut all the love and good feelings out of your ears on Valentine’s Day. Bullnettle and Orator are two heavier/louder local acts that often make noise around town and they are joined by the heavy/loud from Minneapolis, so if heavy/loud music is your thing, it’s probably the safest way to avoid all the googly eyes and kissy faces.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Tweet at us (@askundergrad) or contact us on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at UIUC)!

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January Welcome Back Events

Welcome to new students and welcome back for returning students! Break is over and it’s time to start the spring semester, so let us help you plan your first two weeks with some fun events to get you back into the swing of classes, campus, and Champaign-Urbana life. The beginning of the semester will be packed with all sorts of fun events, including a heaping handful from the Illini Union, so we tried to find some of the best events happening so you can just relax and get ready for a great spring.

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

Photo courtesy of Sriram Bala

Hot Chocolate and Chill at Anniversary Plaza – January 21 from 11am to 2pm

The Union’s Winter Week of Welcome offers students a bunch of fun things to do in the first week of the spring semester, but this event stood out as one of the most obvious for a peaceful and delicious time. Head over the Anniversary Plaza between classes and relax in a human snow-globe with a nice cup of hot cocoa. Hopefully it won’t be too cold in the globe or on campus that day!

http://union.illinois.edu/see-and-do/events/winter-week-of-welcome

Illini Ice Hockey vs. Rochester College at Illini Ice Arena – January 22 & 23 at 7:30pm

Basketball and football are obviously premier sports here at the University, but the Illini also field a hockey team and you’d be hard pressed to get a more intimate setting to watch Illini sports than in the stands at Illini Ice Arena. With $5 tickets, it’s almost a no-brainer to go and check out the team as they face off against Rochester College on both Friday and Saturday night. It may seem silly to spend a potentially cold winter night in an ice rink, but the Illini spirit that buzzes through the stadium on game night will keep you warm and pumped throughout the game.

http://illinihockey.pointstreaksites.com/view/illinihockey/illini-schedule-2

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

University of Illinois Main Library

New Students Tours of the Main Library – January 25, 26, and 29 at varying times

In case you didn’t know, the U of I has one of the biggest library collections in the nation. That’s good news because you can find almost anything you’d need using our libraries, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Librarians are here for tours on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday during the second week of the semester at both the Main and Undergraduate Library, showing you all the major service points and some other areas of interest. Whether you want to learn the best place to study or where to find all the best video games (on the Lower Level of the UGL in the Media Collection), these tours are sure to be a fine introduction to the library here at the U of I. Check the link below for specific times.

http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/4092?cal=20141104&skinId=1977

RSO Involvement Fair at Illini Union – January 27 from 11am to 3pm

Registered Student Organizations (RSO) are one of the glorious things about this campus; if you have an interest, there’s probably an RSO where you can find kindred spirits or you can form one to fill the void. Though Quad Day is only in the Fall and is the biggest collection of RSO’s on campus, the Involvement Fair gives those of you looking for a new group the chance to connect with people you may have missed in the Fall.

http://union.illinois.edu/see-and-do/events/winter-week-of-welcome

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

Photo taken from The Accord

The Great Cover Up 25 at The Accord – January 21, 22, 23, 28, and 29 at 7pm

By the end of the second week of the semester on campus, you’ll probably feel like an old pro and may want to venture off into the downtown areas surrounding campus. Champaign-Urbana has a thriving music scene and the venue formerly known as the Highdive just reopened this January and is hosting the 25th Annual Great Cover Up, an event that gets popular local acts to perform cover sets of just about any band you could think of. Every night is packed with high quality local acts, but we think the final night of the event is perfect for those of you with wide-ranging musical tastes with locals such as Church Booty (R&B/soul/funk), T.R.U.T.H. (hip-hop), 90’s Daughter (buzz magazine’s three time best cover band in CU winner), and a bunch of other terrific acts sending off this years celebrations.

https://www.facebook.com/events/449746211885311/

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Therapy Pets at the Library!

The end of fall semester is almost here! Take a break from stressing out about finals and deadlines to play with therapy pets! This year’s group of therapy pets is cute, cuddly, and ready to play. Therapy pets will be waiting for you to pet them at Grainger, ACES, and the UGL on the following dates:

Thursday, December 10th at Grainger from 2-4 PM: Magnum, Raven, and Beowoof will be ready for all your cuddling needs.

Monday, December 14th at ACES from 2-4 PM: Atlas, Maisey, Jeannie, and Wyatt the cat can’t wait to have their tummies rubbed.

Tuesday, December 15th at the UGL from 2-4 PM: Sam, Maisey, and Beowoof are excited to see everyone!

Magnum

Rub Magnum's tummy!

Magnum is a three-year-old yellow lab who has only been a therapy dog for a few months, but he loves everybody! Every time Magnum goes to the hospital for visits, he is quickly surrounded by people wanting to pet him. He is a fun, happy dog who loves interacting with people.

Raven

Come see Raven!
Raven is a Standard Poodle.She does most of her therapy work at libraries and loves people from all ages. In her down time, Raven likes to play fetch with Frisbees and tennis balls.

Beowoof

Come see Beowoof!

Beowoof is a fashionable Saint Bernard. Beowoof loves to make people happy. The only thing bigger than his paws is his heart! He has a contagious smile and a way of making even your worst day better by simply being in the room. His favorite trick is to give high-fives and his favorite leisure activity is sleeping (or maybe eating homemade peanut butter dog cookies).

Atlas

Atlas Therapy Dog

Atlas is a 7 year old Rottweiler that was adopted from South Suburban Humane Society when he was a year old. He especially loves hanging out with kids at libraries and schools, helping them read. His favorite toy is his Kong and his favorite spot to be scratched is his “bow tie” on his chest.

Maisey

Come see Maisey!

Maisey is a 6 yr old Australian Shepherd-Retriever Mix that was adopted back in 2011 from a local shelter in Muncie, Indiana. Maisey participates in various therapy dog events, including visits to the Carle Foundation Hospital, kids read to dogs programs at local libraries and a number of school groups. When not doing therapy dog work, Maisey enjoys taking long walks, chasing squirrels, and squeaking her plush hedgehog toy.

Jeannie

Rub Jeannie's tummy!

Jeannie is a 4-year-old Bichon Frise. Bichons do not shed and are considered to be a “hypoallergenic” breed. Their soft, thick, cottony hair is great for petting. They are bred to be companion dogs and Jeannie excels at this. She loves people, is tremendously cute, and brightens everyone’s day. Jeannie visits nursing homes, libraries, and hospital patients.

Wyatt

Come see Wyatt!

Wyatt is six years old and loves to be pet and complimented. Wyatt is a very social cat and is a mix of Siamese, Maine Coon, and Persian. When Wyatt is not “on the job,” he spends his time as a typical cat – napping, playing and eating.

Sam

Come see Sam!
Sam is an adorable and fuzzy Alaskan Malamute. He is great company and enjoys when people pet him. Like everyone, he is not a fan of finals but is very happy to be at UIUC to relieve peoples stress. Come on by and take a picture with him!

Have any questions about therapy pets? Want to express how excited you are to meet these animals? Tweet at us (@askundergrad) or contact us on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at UIUC)!

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Homecoming Week Events

This week marks University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s 105th Homecoming Celebration, and with that comes a slew of events on campus this week! Kick it off this Wednesday, October 21 with Spirit Day, when we will all wear orange to show our Illini pride and get free stuff. Stop by the Quad to earn discounts at local businesses and receive free stuff just for wearing orange! Did we mention free stuff? Here are a few other events to add to your plans this week:

Photo courtesy of Mike Pettigano via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Mike Pettigano via Flickr

Art Exhibit at the Illini Union Art Gallery – All Week Starting Monday, October 19
Celebrate the diversity of Illini talents with University of Illinois professor Bryan Warsaw’s poetry and photography will be exhibited this week in the Illini Union Art Gallery. His work exemplifies dusk, or the time between day and night. If you’ve been looking for somewhere to take that special someone you met in the UGL last week, this could be the place!

Block Party at the Henry Administration Building Sidewalk – Friday, October 23 at 5pm

This event for students, alumni, and other community members celebrates Homecoming before the parade. There will be games, activities, prizes, and food. Afterward, head to the Homecoming Parade at 6pm. The parade will begin at Sixth and Taft in Champaign, travel through Campustown, and end at the Quad after turning south on Mathews Avenue in Urbana. When the parade ends at 7pm, check out the Pep Rally in Foellinger Hall with performances from Marching Illini and guest speakers. There will be blue and orange fireworks set off in front of Foellinger afterward and the Observatory will host an open house from 8-10pm.

Annual Homecoming Party at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center – Saturday, October 24 9am-1pm

If you aren’t too tired from celebrating all evening Friday, head to the Annual Homecoming Party at the Alumni Center on Saturday morning. This Homecoming party will host musical entertainment, a cash bar, giveaways, spirit beads, and offer discounted park-and-ride passes!

Photo courtesy of Mike Pettigano via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Mike Pettigano via Flickr

Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – Saturday October 24 at 7:30pm
CUSO will be opening its season with Haydn’s oratorio in collaboration with the UI Oratorio Society. After the Homecoming games, go to Krannert to support the arts! Krannert will also be providing 45-minute tours of the Center all week. If you would rather listen to the orchestra than tailgate, this event might be for you!

African-American Homecoming Party at Campus Rec Center East (CRCE) – Saturday, October 24 at 11pm

For the night owls and dancers, this Homecoming dance party for African-American students will host DJ Matrix playing hip-hop and rhythm-and-blues music. Purchase your tickets at the Quad Shop now to dance the night away for $10 for students or $15 for non-students with a UIUC sponsor!

Homecoming Games: Did you really think we would forget about the football and soccer game? Finish off your Homecoming week by showing your school spirit and cheering on the Illini this Saturday!
Illinois Vs. Wisconsin Homecoming Game at Memorial Stadium – Saturday, October 24 2:30pm kickoff
Illinois Vs. Northwestern Women’s Soccer Game at Soccer & Track Stadium – Saturday October 24 6pm

Learn more about these events and others this Homecoming Week: http://homecoming.illinois.edu/schedule.html

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August Events

Photo Courtesy of Liz West via Flickr Media Commons

Photo Courtesy of Liz West via Flickr Media Commons

The summer is coming to an end, but there are still plenty of fun events to ring out the end of the season. August is the month for the gormandizers, the film buffs, and the music connoisseurs as CU hosts a variety of festivals, screenings, and concerts. Dive into our list of some of these events and share any others we may have missed that you’re looking forward to.

Photo Courtesy of Mike N Molly's

Photo Courtesy of Mike N Molly’s

Grateful Dead Tribute at Mike N Molly’s – August 8 at 6
The Grateful Dead played their final shows together last month as part of their Fare Thee Well concert series, but Deadheads of CU can rejoice as Sunshine Daydream will be gracing the outdoor stage at the Mike N Molly’s beergarden in Downtown Champaign. Also joining the dead-wannabes are local acts Mike and Olivia, The Wetsons, and Brian Hilderbrand.
https://www.facebook.com/events/505891186233934/

Photo Courtesy of Virginia Theater

Photo Courtesy of Virginia Theater

Pens to Lens Student Screenwriting Competition at the Virginia Theatre – August 15 at 2 and 4
There’s a lot of talented people around our area, and some of them haven’t even left high school yet. Pens to Lens gives K-12 students from the East Central Illinois area the opportunity to write and submit original screenplays and see them made into short films by local artists. Maybe we’ll find the next Tarantino over at Urbana High! Tickets are only $8 and youth 18 and under are admitted free.
http://thevirginia.org/event/pens-to-lens/

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Taste of CU – August 21 from 5-11 and August 22 from 11-11
Taste of CU is one of the best events in the area for its variety of activities. Whether you want to eat some of the most delicious food our area has to offer, hear some great music from local and national acts (Gin Blossoms is playing!), or if you just want to try and win a car, Taste of CU has everything you need. If the previous reasons weren’t enough to convince you, the proceeds to go to help local youth do a number of various activities, so you can feel good while you indulge and rock out. Did we mention Gin Blossoms is playing? They did that song “Hey Jealousy”! That song rules. Go to this.
http://champaignparks.com/taste-of-champaign-urbana/

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Public Library

Photo Courtesy of Champaign Public Library

In Concert at CPL: Emily Otnes– July 24 – August 1
The Champaign Public Library hosts monthly concerts and is bringing Tara Terra’s Emily Otnes to the stacks to play some of her own tunes. Otnes’ voice is sure to give you the feels and you can hear it on her band’s debut album “Daughter”, released in 2014. While you’re there, you may want to stop by the Friendshop Bookstore to pick up some inexpensive books to enjoy after the concert.
https://www.facebook.com/events/867821679958552/

Photo Courtesy of The Art Theater

Photo Courtesy of The Art Theater

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure at the Art Theater – August 27 at 10
The Art Theater has amazing movies as part of their late-night series all the time, but you absolutely can’t miss Pee Wee Herman in his big screen debut. Tim Burton makes his directing debut with this zany film that’s truly an experience to behold; it’s been called his “strangest” film, which is a lot to say for the guy behind Ed Wood, Batman Returns, and Alice in Wonderland.
http://www.arttheater.coop/pee-wees-big-adventure/

Photo Courtesy of Urbana Sweetcorn Festival

Photo Courtesy of Urbana Sweetcorn Festival

Urbana Sweetcorn Festival – August 28 from 5-11 and August 29 from 11-11
Everybody loves a good ear of corn, and the best way to bring in the new semester is by going to the Sweetcorn Festival and having some there! If you’re not a fan of corn, there’s always lots of other food and fun available at the festival, with local vendors selling various goods and plenty of activities for people of all ages. One of the main draws for the festival is the music, and this year’s lineup surely won’t disappoint with acts like The Psychadelic Furs, The Church, and Berlin (the band that did “Take My Breath Away” in Top Gun. That’s right. Top Gun.).
http://urbanasweetcornfestival.com/

Did we miss any events that you’re excited about? Let us know in the comments!

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July Events

Summer. Photo Courtesy of Mikey A-Tucker via Flickr Media Commons

Summer. Photo Courtesy of Mikey A-Tucker via Flickr Media Commons

You may be beat from all the American fun of last weekend, but our area has a lot to offer for the rest of the month. If you need something more to do than a classic stroll through downtown Urbana, a nightcap over in downtown Champaign, or a leisurely picnic at one of the many parks in the area, this post will hopefully give you some ideas.

Champaign Music Festival. Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Champaign Music Festival. Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Champaign Music Festival– July 11 from 6-12

Downtown Champaign has seen its fair share of music this summer, be it from the beer garden shows at Mike N’ Molly’s or the smooth tunes featured during June’s Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival, and more nationally recognized acts are heading to the area for this year’s Champaign Music Festival. Late 90’s/early 00’s giants Smash Mouth will be strutting their stuff as well as 90’s alternative rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket. Admission is free, so there’s no reason to miss this offering of throwback hits.

https://champaignparks.com/champaign-music-festival/nggallery/page/1

The Fantasticks. Photo Courtesy of Bah Humbug Productions

The Fantasticks. Photo Courtesy of Bah Humbug Productions

The Fantasticks from Bah Humbug Productions – July 10-12 & 15-19

The Fantasticks is America’s longest running theater piece, remaining in production from 1960 onward. The performance is being put on by Bah Humbug Productions, a local community theater group that puts on various productions throughout the year. Parkland College’s New Second Stage will host the two weekend run of the show.

http://www.bahhumbug.biz/

Candy Foster and Shades of Blue. Photo Courtesy of Allerton Park and Retreat Center

Candy Foster and Shades of Blue. Photo Courtesy of Allerton Park and Retreat Center

Allerton Park Concert Series: Allerton Blues – July 10 from 6:30 – 9

Allerton Park is ridiculously beautiful. That’s a fact. Blues music can often be beautiful. Put the two together, and you’ve got a great night planned. Candy Foster and Shades of Blue provide the blues and with Candy’s smooth R&B stylings and Shades of Blue’s extensive resume (they’ve played with artists like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin), this will be a fantastic night for all.

http://allerton.illinois.edu/event/allerton-blues/

The 92s. Photo Courtesy of The 92s

The 92s. Photo Courtesy of The 92s

The 92’s at Mike N Molly’s – July 4 at 11:05

There’s a lot of really great music being made in Champaign and acts regularly find themselves breaking out to larger audiences after cutting their teeth at local venues like Mike N Molly’s. One of the most promising bands to come out of CU in recent years is The 92’s, and the boys are coming back to town after their move to Chicago. Their infectious songs will truly move you, so head over to Mike N Molly’s for a fantastic Thursday night bill with locals Nick and the Nailed Its and Tried and True opening.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1655577277998698/

Champaign County Fair. Photo Courtesy of Champaign County Fair Association

Champaign County Fair. Photo Courtesy of Champaign County Fair Association

Champaign County Fair– July 24 – August 1

County fairs are a staple of the American Summer, so head to the County Fairgrounds to catch the Champaign County Fair. The Fair runs for 9 days and there’s a Demolition Derby, a rodeo, motorcycle race, and a Carnival every day, so there’s no reason to miss out on the fun.

http://www.champaigncountyfair.cc/index.html

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