Summer Fun in Champaign-Urbana

Hey Illini! How’s your summer going?

We miss seeing a full UGL, but we hope you’re enjoying your summer whether you’re relaxing, working, or studying during these extra warm months! Champaign-Urbana may have less students right now, but there’s still lots going on that we wanted to share with you.
Image of Undergraduate Library
Whether you’ve been here all summer, or if you’re coming back a little in advance of the fall semester, here are some fun events happening around Champaign-Urbana to keep you busy and entertained!

All Summer Long & Weekly Fun

Summer Quad Cinema Series
FREE – Thursdays at 9pm on the Quad
Get popcorn from the Quad Shop:
$3 large popcorn ($1.50 refill)
$1.50 small popcorn ($1 refill)
Michael Jackson eating popcorn

Market at the Square
Saturdays 7am-Noon (May-October) at the corner of Illinois & Vine St. in Urbana
Check out vendors, chef demonstrations, Art at the Market (Public Arts Program), Read at the Market (Urbana Free Library), Science on the Market (Physics at UIUC), and performances!
Market at the Square

Urbana Park District & Champaign Park District
Check their full event calendars for days, times,and locations
Events include outdoor concerts, movies, exercise classes, hikes, & more. Tina from Bob's Burgers dancing

Urbana Free Library & Champaign Public Library
Check their full event calendars for days, times, and locations
Of course we have to include fun public library events on this list! Drop by for arts & crafts, tech classes, movies, concerts, used book sales, & more.
Reading Rainbow library dance

Mark Your Calendars!

July 19-27: Champaign County Fair – $5 + extra cost for rides, events, & parking
Featuring shows, rides, performances, contests, & more
Champaign County Fair

August 3: Crystal Lake Park Art Fair – 10am-6pm
Art vendors and art displays to enjoy and/or purchase!Crystal Lake Park Art Fair. August 3, 2019Bob Ross paints, captioned

August 8: Food Truck Rally & Summer Finale (at the Champaign Public Library)
Books, live music, and food! What else could you want? Squirrel eating a taco

August 9-10: Champaign-Urbana Days – 6pm-9pm on Friday, 11am-8pm on Saturday
Activities & Entertainment in Douglass ParkChampaign-Urbana Days, August 9-10 at Douglass Park, Activity and Entertainment schedule

August 10: Fan Con (at the Urbana Free Library) – 11am-4pm
Celebrate comics, fandom, & pop culture with workshops, demos, trivia, & contests

August 16-17: Taste of Champaign-Urbana – 5pm-11pm on Friday, 11am-11pm on Saturday
Check out food & art vendors in Downtown Champaign!
FREE admission; Tickets for food, beverages, & activities tickets cost $5 for 5

August 17: Pie Run 2019 – 10:30am-1:30pm (participant check-in at 9:30am)
Run or Walk 3.14 miles, then celebrate with some pie!
$20-30 fee – register by 7/29 to get a t-shirt

August 23-24: Urbana Sweetcorn Festival – 5pm-Midnight on Friday, 11am-Midnight on Saturday
CORN! Celebrate the most Midwestern vegetable with entertainment & food vendors.
Urbana Sweetcorn Festival
Cat eating corn

And of course…

Keep an eye on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter) for start of term shenanigans and back-to-school events!

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Champaign-Urbana in the Summer

Image of Carle Park

Carle Park

If you are sticking around for a Champaign-Urbana summer, you’ll have no shortage of festivals and events. We have the scoop on the most popular festivals you won’t want to miss, plus a few cool tips for summer in CU.

Homer Krazee Daze – August 23 to August 25th

Homer Krazee Daze infographic. August 23-25, Homer, Illinois

Homer Krazee Daze

Taste the rainbow at the Homer Krazee Daze! While you’re tasting dozens of pop flavors you never knew existed, like Americana Huckleberry or Prickly Pear, enjoy music, art, carnival rides, food, and more! Grab a friend with a car and head out to Downtown Homer for this classic annual event!

StreetFest – Saturday, July 14th from 7:00p.m. to Midnight

Head to downtown Champaign for StreetFest! StreetFest is an annual free music and food festival featuring local bands and food. So why is it called StreetFest? Yup, it’s on the street! So join your friends on the corner of Neil & Main or Walnut & University to listen to bands that call CU home.

Champaign County Fair – July 21st to July 28th

Image for the 2018 Champaign County Fair

The 2018 Champaign County Fair

Indulge in country fun and attend the Demolition Derby, ride carnival rides, attend a rodeo, watch a tractor pull, and eat all the best fair food at the Champaign County Fair! Admission is $5 with an additional fee for some events.

Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest – August 11th

Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest 2018 logo

Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest

This all-new festival promises great blues, food, and drink! Check back on their Facebook page for more details as they develop!

Taste of Champaign-Urbana logo

Taste of Champaign-Urbana

Taste of Champaign-Urbana is an annual opportunity to celebrate local restaurants, art, beer, and music in West Side Park. Entrance to the festival is free, but purchase tickets to spend at food vendors. The entertainment list will be out in July! If you’re a runner, you can also join in on the Pie Run in West Side Park, then reward yourself with a good meal.

None of these are your jam? Looking for something else? There’s always something to do in CU! Check out the Champaign Farmers Market Tuesdays 3:30-6:30 or Urbana’s Market at the Square on Saturdays 7am-noon.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.).

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

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