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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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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