September Events

September is in full swing, and with the beginning of the school year also comes the beginning of fall events! Check out our roundup of events happening on campus and around Champaign-Urbana this month.

Greatest Midwest Food Town Celebration

MidwestLiving Greatest Midwest Food Town Celebration Logo

Greatest Midwest Food Town Celebration

Where: Urbana’s Market at the Square, The Blind Pig Brewery, and Grange Grove

When: September 9th, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Celebrate Champaign-Urbana being named the best Midwest Food Town by MidwestLiving Magazine with food samples, games, giveaways and music. The day begins at Urbana’s Market at the Square, moving to Blind Pig at 12:45 pm and ending the day at Grange Grove at 4:00 pm. Free admission.

Krannert Center Opening Night Party

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center Opening Night Party

Where: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

When: September 14th, 6:00 pm

The Krannert Center’s Opening Night Party this year is also celebrating ELLNORA Guitar Festival and the University of Illinois Sesquicentennial with blues and folk music, food, crafts, and a showcase of mini-performances. Try your hand at screen-printing and guitar pick jewelry-making, and marvel at the community guitar gallery hung throughout the Lobby along with food and music. Admission is $5.

CU Pride Fest 2017

CU Pride Rainbow Logo

CU Pridefest 2017

Where: Downtown Champaign

When: Events September 15-17

Sponsored by Uniting Pride, celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride with events September 15-17 in Downtown Champaign! Pride Fest kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, September 15th with live music, drag shows, and comedy at 51 Main. Pride Fest continues on Saturday with the CU Pride Parade at 4 pm, and an afterparty at 51 Main. The weekend wraps up on Sunday at 11:00 am with a Drag Brunch at City View. Admission prices vary.

The Pygmalion Festival

Pygmalion Festival Logo

Pygmalion Festival Logo

Where: Downtown Champaign

When: September 20-24

The 13th year of the Pygmalion Festival brings food, drink, music, technology, and literature to an intimate event. Pygmalion highlights local bands, authors, restaurants and innovators, and focuses on creating a festival experience that is meaningful, impactful, and sustainable. Tickets are available as single day passes or full weekend passes.

Stargazing at Meadowbrook Park

MeadowBrook Park at Night

Stargazing at Meadowbrook Park

Where: Meadowbrook Park, 2808 S. Race Street

When: Thursday, September 21, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Celebrate the last days of summer with outdoor stargazing at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana. Join expert astronomers from the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society and William M. Staerkel Planetarium to learn about stargazing and observe through high powered professional telescopes. Bring a blanket and a telescope of your own if you have one! Free admission.

Urbana Food Truck Rally

Urbana Food Truck Rally Logo

Urbana Food Truck Rally

Where: Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Walter Street

When: Tuesday, September 26th, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Come one, come all to the lunchtime food truck rally series in Downtown Urbana! The last Tuesday of every month features a convergence of local food trucks in Downtown Urbana for a lunch time break. Food trucks for September include Dragon Fire Pizza, Chester’s BBQ, The Empanadas House, and more. Indulge your tastebuds for a lunch time treat. Free admission, cost for food.

Hopefully we’ve covered most of the major events happening around Champaign-Urbana for the month of September, but if we missed anything, reach out to us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages, and stay tuned for an events post every month!

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December Events

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December is a very busy month, which means lots of fun activities around campus and Champaign-Urbana. Take a break from studying and enjoy the holiday season around town as fall semester comes to a close.

Urbana First Fridays

ff

https://www.facebook.com/UrbanaFirstFridays/?fref=ts

Kick off the month with the Urbana December First Friday. From 4:30 to 11pm on December 2nd, stop by participating businesses in downtown Urbana for a night of delicious food and various cultures with over 30 events.  Mistletoe Market will also be taking place during this time. With 25 local artisans selling handmade items, this is a good chance to shop for holiday gifts (or #treatyoself) and support the local community.

The Nutcracker

nutcracker

https://krannertcenter.com/events/nutcracker

Starting Thursday, December 1st and running through Sunday, December 4th, watch the Champaign-Urbana Ballet perform the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, accompanied by the Champaign-Urbana Orchestra. The ballet will be performed at the Tyron Festival Theatre. Tickets range in price from $21 to $45, and they are going quickly!

Annual Krannert Carol Concert

krannert

https://krannertcenter.com/events/annual-carol-concert-2016

Come to the Foellinger Great Hall this Sunday, December 4th, at 3pm to join in with the choruses, instrumentalists, and fellow audience members to “celebrate the winter season!” With tickets starting at $4, this would be a fun and inexpensive way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Season of Light

planetarium

http://www.chambanamoms.com/events/season-of-light-3-2016-12-02/

On December 17th, head to the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College to learn about the history of many of the world’s holiday customs which all involve lighting up the winter season. Find out more information about historical religious and cultural rituals that take place during the winter solstice.  Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door.

Public Ice Skating

ice

https://campusrec.illinois.edu/programs/ice-skating/public-skating/

Really embrace the winter season by going ice skating! University of Illinois students receive free admission and $2 skate rentals. Check out the website for a complete list of times when the arena is open to the public.

Free Yoga

yoga

http://kam.illinois.edu/events/experiences.html

Did this semester stress you out? Find some relaxation at a free yoga class, offered every Tuesday from noon-1pm, at the Krannert Art Museum.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

 

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October Events Blog

Fall is finally here, and with the month of October comes sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider, spooky ghost stories, and crisp falling leaves. Read up on the events around campus and Champaign-Urbana to fill the spookiest month of the year!

 

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest, October 1 3-Midnight — $5 Entry

Kick off the month at the fourth annual C-U Oktoberfest in Downtown Champaign! Indulge in German beer, pretzels, dancing, and face painting and a bounce house for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Developmental Services Center.

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival — October 7-9, Prices Varied

Hosted at the Krannert Center by the C-U West African Drum and Dance Collective, this weekend of drumming, dancing, shopping, and community building celebrates the West African drumming tradition. Attendees can watch or participate in drum and dance classes.

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch —Throughout October, free entry, activity prices varied.

Just a fifteen minute drive from campus, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch features U-Pick apples, a petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and live music. Throughout the month of October, Curtis Orchard is offering a Groupon deal for discounted rates for U-Pick apples and corn maze entry, so snap up this deal before it’s gone!

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016 at the Art Theater Co-Op — Throughout October beginning October 6, prices varied.

Beginning with a free kick off event on October 6, the Champaign Art Theater Co-Op is hosting a month-long Halloween movie event. With the return of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, live trivia, music, and horror movies, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser for Halloween lovers. The event’s finale is an all-night movie marathon featuring the classic George Romero horror flick Dawn of the Dead, don’t miss out!

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum Ghost Story Events — October 29, $6 for students

This pair of events at the Spurlock Museum features storytellers from the C-C Storyteller’s Guild. At 2:00 pm, the storytellers will regale kid-friendly multicultural ghost stories, and kids will leave with candy to kick-off their trick or treating. At 7:30, the storytellers will shift to adult-themed horror stories with heightened fear factors. The later event is restricted to adults only (16 and up). Get in the mood for Halloweekend with these bone-chilling tales!

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert — October 30, $4 for students

For more of a low-key event, check out the Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert, just $4 for current U of I students. Hosted at the Foellinger Auditorium, the Illinois Wind Symphony will play six Halloween-themed works, including Night on Bald Mountain, which students may recognize from Disney’s Fantasia, led by director Stephen Peterson.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out 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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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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November Music Events

In honor of American Music Month, this week’s blog is dedicated to musical events around campus. Who doesn’t love going to a concert and experiencing some new music? Champaign-Urbana consistently draws a wide variety of acts across many genres, so there’s probably something that you’d enjoy seeing. Grab a friend, get some food, and then go experience some new music. It’s the recipe for a perfect night.

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

GWAR at The Canopy Club – November 2 at 8:00pm

If you don’t know who/what GWAR is, you should probably go to this show. The self described “masters of Earth”, GWAR have been taking over our puny planet for around 30 years with their blend of heavy metal and insane stage antics; it’s nearly impossible to leave a GWAR show without being covered in fake blood and feeling AWESOME for it. American music has always been subversive and shocking and it pretty much does not get more subversive or shocking than GWAR.

http://canopyclub.com/events/gwar-3/

Photo Courtesy of Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Photo Courtesy of Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

“I was a bum once myself.” at Smith Memorial Hall – November 10 at 7:30pm

This unique performance is unlike any other on this list and is sure not to be missed by those of you interested in the vast scope of American music. Presented by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, this performance features Chris Rainier performing guitar pieces by the famous microtonal composer and instrument builder Harry Partch. Pieces arranged for voice and arranged guitar that detail the rough lives of 1930’s hobos will be the focus of the evening and Rainier will be performing these pieces on a guitar specially constructed for this event. Admission is free, so catch this one-of-a-kind performance for a deep look into American history.

http://archives.library.illinois.edu/sousa/upcoming-concerts-lectures/

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Illinois Modern Ensemble at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – November 17 at 7:30pm

Rock music may not be for everyone, so this performance by UIUC’s Modern Ensemble will be a delight to those searching for something a bit different. The ensemble performs regularly and highlights pieces by famous American composers such as Steve Reich, the legendary American minimalist, and Augusta Read Thomas, the masterful American experimental composer, as well as original pieces by students and faculty. This performance is only $4 for students and will force you to reach beyond your expectations of what music truly can be and connect you with a the deep experimentation found in so much modern American music.

http://krannertcenter.com/performance.aspx?id=201572110381242012817410782

Photo courtesy of Mike 'N Molly's

Photo courtesy of Mike ‘N Molly’s

Solo Showcase at Mike ‘N Molly’s – November 19 at 8pm

The origins of the punk rock movement of the 1970s and beyond are as much of an argument as any, but it is safe to say that punk has been a huge movement in America since the first power chord was struck. Innovation runs rampant through the genre and this Solo Showcase at local watering hole and popular local music venue Mike ‘N Molly’s will certainly show off the flexibility and innovation that can be found in this ever-expanding genre. Headlining is local visual artist Kamila Glowacki whose band Kowabunga! Kid has toured across this country and play an exceptionally surfy brand of punk. Other performers include members of local favorites Roberta Sparrow and Street Justice, so head over to downtown Champaign for a unique night of passionate performance.

http://mikenmollys.com/shows/76/solo-showcase

Photo courtesy of Art Theater

Photo courtesy of Art Theater

Marathon Guitarkestra at The Art Theater Co-op – November 21 at 10pm

Living in such a creative and open-minded city has many benefits for all sorts of artists- Marathon is one of the best examples of a group of artists taking advantage of the openness of this area. Marathon creates drone music in the occasional form of a “guitarkestra”- an ensemble of 6 guitarists, 2 drummers, and a bassist all working to create a massive amount of pleasurable and quite solid feeling sound. This performance is a rare one and not to be missed for several reasons: The Art Theater typically does not have musical performers and is an incredible space for this occasion, this performance is in honor of the release of Marathon’s new LP “Sanctuary”, and the Media Commons’ own Jake Metz will be performing live video manipulation for the performance. American music takes so many forms and is constantly reinterpreting itself and this is probably the closest one could get to truly feeling that slow, intense, passionate change.

https://www.facebook.com/events/979024715474150/

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