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.

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

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.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

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)!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

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/

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

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

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

READ.WATCH.PLAY: Be Library Famous!

Ever look at your dorm room or apartment walls and wonder, “My decorations are alright, but a poster of myself would really spice this place up”? Well, it’s your lucky day! The UGL is excited to announce the second annual READ.WATCH.PLAY. Poster Contest. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite library resource and you could be featured on a poster in the UGL! Not only will you get to keep a copy of the poster, but all of your hard work during those late-night study sessions will pay off when you become Library Famous.

READ.WATCH.PLAY. Poster Contest READ.WATCH.PLAY. Poster Contest

Here’s how it works:
1. You must be a current undergraduate student at the University of Illinois.

2. You must follow us on at least one of our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

3. You will then pick a book, movie, or video game that you want to pose with. Explain to us (just 2 or 3 sentences) why you chose that book, movie, or video game and why you think other undergrads would be interested in it.

4. Tell us about your favorite service or space at the Undergraduate Library.

A print application will be available at the Circulation Desk on the Upper Level of the UGL. Too excited to wait? Click here for an online application!

Winners will be chosen on November 9 and a “photo shoot” will take place at the video production studio in the UGL. Be prepared to reveal your inner supermodel. Once the photos are done, your poster will be printed out and displayed in our wonderful library through spring. An extra poster will be printed out for you to keep!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

October Events

October is the spookiest month, to misquote a famous author, and there’s a huge variety of seasonal events going on around Champaign-Urbana. Though we typically aim to provide you all with something to do each week, this month we’re going to share events that are date specific, as well as some that are happening throughout the month. If you like to be scared, we’ve got some haunted houses. If you like to have things a bit less blood-curdling, we’ve got corn mazes and other fall themed events. There’s a little something for everyone!

Photo taken from Curtis Orchard

Photo taken from Curtis Orchard

Curtis Orchards – All Month
Curtis Orchards is the perfect place to really get in the fall mood. Whether you have a hankering for some apples or pumpkins, want to play some mini-golf, or listen to some great roots music, Curtis Orchards is a local favorite for autumnal fun. There’s also the Country Store to satisfy your need for fudge, along with some award-winning apple cider. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
http://curtisorchard.com/

Photo taken from the Art Theater Co-op

Photo taken from the Art Theater Co-op

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Art Theater Co-op- October 16-17
It’s astounding! If you’ve never seen the Rocky Horror Picture, it’s an absolute must for the month of October and for the rest of the year. If you’ve never been to a live-cast performance, then you are doubly responsible for going to see what all the fun is about. The stars and highlights of this film are too innumerable to list here, so make your way over to the Art for an experience you won’t soon forget.
http://www.arttheater.coop/rocky-horror-picture-show/

Photo taken from Hardy's Reindeer Ranch

Photo taken from the Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch

Corn Maze at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul- All Month
Corn mazes are an essential autumn experience and a great way to spend a Saturday. This particular maze at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in nearby Rantoul is shaped like a giant eagle carrying an American flag. If that isn’t a recipe for an amazing day, we don’t know what is. For those of you with a taste for horror, there is also the option to do the maze at night with a flashlight. If those aren’t reason enough to go and do this, there’s a giant pumpkin cannon. Sold.
http://www.reindeerranch.com/maze.html

The National Circus and Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China at Krannert – October 21 at 7pm
Though it may not fall in with the whole theme of spookiness and fall fun we have going so far, this event is too awesome to pass up. As the event description says, these acrobats are “among the world’s most acclaimed athletes.” We don’t have much else to say because this seems so cool in and of itself, but if you need more convincing, just look them up on YouTube. It’s amazing.
http://krannertcenter.com/performance.aspx?id=20157211038494912817410782

Photo taken from Bone Saw Mill

Photo taken from the Bone Saw Mill

Haunted Houses at Bone Saw Mill- All Month
And you were here thinking we’d end this blog without mentioning a haunted house in the month of October. This one actually features two different haunts this year including “The Freak Show: Field of Fears” and “The Haunt at Bonesaw Mill”, so those of you seeking a scare are in for quite the treat.
http://freakshowillinois.com/

Did we miss anything? Let us know on Facebook (Undergraduate Library @ UIUC) or Twitter (askundergrad)!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

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!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

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

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Independence Weekend Events

Independence Day is this weekend and, so long as aliens don’t invade the planet like in the ’96 classic film, CU and Champaign County is going to be the place to be for the holiday weekend. Whether you like to bright lights of fireworks or you want to indulge in some great local eats, we think we’ve found the perfect options for your July 4th weekend.

Photo courtesy of Alice via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Alice via Flickr Media Commons

Local Flavors Dinner at Milo’s Restaurant– July 2
Presented by the Illinois Steward Alliance, the Local Flavors series gives you the chance to try some of Central Illinois’ finest restaurants as they serve seasonal items using strictly local ingredients from local farmers. Milo’s is a self-described “Nuevo American” restaurant that will prepare an amazing dinner to kick off your weekend.
http://www.ilstewards.org/local-flavors-2015/

Photo courtesy of Chloe via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Chloe via Flickr Media Commons

Folk and Roots Friday Concert – July 3 from 12-1 pm
After having dinner at Milo’s, pack a healthy lunch and head over to the Lake House in Crystal Lake Park for a lunchtime concert, presented by Urbana Parks District. The concert is free and there’s a raffle as well as specials on boating if you have the day off and can bring the family!
http://www.urbanaparks.org/events/folk-and-roots-friday-concert-Jul/

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys via Flickr Media Commons

Rantoul Freedom Celebration– July 3 from 5:30 – 11 pm
After you enjoy the music and lunch, the Rantoul National Aviation Center will be the place to be for an early celebration of our country’s independence. There’s a little bit of everything going on, including a 5K, a museum open house, paintball, and many other exciting events. A lot of fun to be had for only a half an hour drive north.
http://www.chambanamoms.com/events/rantoul-freedom-celebration/

Photo courtesy of Matthew via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Matthew via Flickr Media Commons

Champaign County Freedom Celebration Parade – July 4 at 11:05 am
After sleeping in to celebrate your own independence and after a fun night in Rantoul, head down to Lincoln or Florida Ave to catch the most American of celebrations: the parade. Expect many of the traditional parade fare such as marching bands, performers of various kinds, and veterans and firemen. Slap on some sunblock and spend your 4th outside in the sun.
http://www.july4th.net/parade

Photo courtesy of bayasaa via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of bayasaa via Flickr Media Commons

Champaign County Freedom Celebration Evening Program – July 4 at 7 pm
After the parade, head over to Kirby Ave between First and Oak Streets for the entertainment and fireworks display. Bounce houses and inflatables will be set up for the kids, music for everyone, and the grand fireworks presentation from Melrose Pyrotechnics. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
http://www.july4th.net/evening-program

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit