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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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

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June Events

The Illini may not be flying down the field or storming up the court, but CU is still a great place to be during the summer months. Here are just a few events happening in the area for the month of June that will keep you full, festive, and having fun.

Hot Rod Power TourJune 7
Sponsored by Hot Rod Magazine, the 21st Annual Hot Rod Power Tour is rolling into Parkland College on June 7 and will feature some of the nicest vehicles this country has to offer. If cruisin’ down the highway and putting the top down is your idea of a good time, this is the event for you.
www.visitchampaigncounty.org/hotrod

Photo Courtesy of Follow the Farmstead

Follow the FarmsteadJune 12-13 from 8am-2pm
Have you ever wondered how Champaign County farmers get it all done? Then you can join Visit Champaign County the Champaign County Farm Bureau on the first ever Follow the Farmstead to get an in-depth look into the agricultural industry in and around Champaign County. This event is family-oriented and will give participants the opportunity to do a range of things including learning about the newest farming technology or meeting farm animals!
www.visitchampaigncounty.org/followthefarmstead

Photo Courtesy of Uncork Urbana Wine Festival

Uncork Urbana Wine FestivalJune 13 from 1pm-9pm
For those of you of drinking age, Uncork Urbana Wine Festival looks to showcase some of the incredible wines the state of Illinois has to offer in the serenity of downtown Urbana. Admission is $10 for individuals 21 & over and includes a souvenir wine glass and five tasting tickets. There will also be live music from local favorites such as Emily Otnes (Tara Terra), Ryan Groff (Elsinore), and The Diva & The Dude as well as food trucks to balance out some of the delicious wine.

www.urbanabusiness.com/uncork-urbana-wine-festival/

Photo Courtesy of urbanalove

urbanalove Summer Movie NightsJune 13 at sunset
urbanalove is a local group dedicated to showcasing the wonders of downtown Urbana. One of their premier events is a monthly film screening shown outside for free. The June movie is The Royal Tenenbaums, a modern classic by the extremely talented and focused Wes Anderson. The movies screen at sunset and give viewers the opportunity to see classic films while also connecting with their local community and neighbors.
www.urbanalove.org

Photo Courtesy of Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival

Blues, Brews, and BBQ FestivalJune 26 & 27
This festival brings together some essential summer staples: music, drink, and food. Though a $5 donation is suggested, the event is free and open to the public and will feature performances by blues players from across the country, BBQ from the finest local establishments, and various forms of drinks. Also happening during the festival is a motorcycle show so you can check out some fancy rides. All this is going down in downtown Champaign behind the News Gazette Office.
www.bluesbrewsandbbqfest.com/

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