FRIDAY, July 14th

Grand Ambassador w/ Black Esther + Sleeping Okami, Cowboy Monkey, 10 pm, 19+, $5

Local indie rock returns to Cowboy Monkey this weekend with two local bands worth lending an ear to. Grand Ambassador, a poppy quartet, will be aided by progressive outfit Sleeping Okami, who has had a massive 2017, as far as Champaign-Urbana's music scene goes. This one is not to be missed. (BH)

Eat paletas (or helado) while listening to jazz, El Oasis, 6-8 p.m., about $3 per person

El Oasis is turning four this weekend and celebrating with some live music. It's definitely one of the best places in town to get some frozen treats, so I feel extra good about encouraging you to celebrate its anniversary. The shop has added some new flavors, and now offers a sampler tray, which is genius. You can never go wrong with the avocado ice cream, though. Photo by Jessica Hammie (JH)



Township, Delinquents on Tour! ft. 7 Daze and The Lung Darts!, Blips and Chitz, 7 p.m., suggested $5 for touring bands

Spend your Friday night in one of the coolest basement in the Champaign area, at least to my knowledge... Township and Deliquents are on tour and both come from Wisconsin, so you know they're bringing a good time with them. Locals 7 Daze and Lung Darts will be there for support, and so should you. (RG)


Take in some classical music, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., tickets range from $5-30

Sinfonia da Camera, Krannert's house chamber orchestra, is partnering with guests artists from the Summer Piano Institute to perform four piano concertos. I am by no means a classical music aficianado, but I can appreciate those who do it well. Plus, it's kind of fun to put on your fancy duds and and take in a bit of refined culture for an evening. Tickets can be purchased online. Approach campus with caution, however. On the opposite end of the culture spectrum, Greek reunion is happening this weekend. Watch out for drunk college students wandering into the street. (JM) Photo from Facebook

SATURDAY, July 15th

Get a free* haircut or discounted tattooMidwest Barber/New Life Tattoo (9 E. University), 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., donation (at $20 value)

Downtown's newest joint is pitching in good for Cunningham Children's Home and collecting new backpacks with unused school supplies. Or you can toss them $20, that works, too, but feels less like you're getting something for free*. The haircut in question says "men's haircut or style only" and the half-price tattoo is from the "Mr. Flash" machine ($80 down from $150). So help a kid out and walk away with a new style. (RK)

Midwest Beer FestCowboy Monkey, 3 pm - Midnight, family friendly, free entry

Midwest Beer Fest is one of the best events of the year in Downtown Champaign. There, I said it. Someone had to. They have over 50 local beers available, have exclusive tapping times for special types of beer, and even offer tacos, the best food to eat with beer bar-none. There is literally nothing to dislike about MBF. But don't take it from me — try it out for yourself. (BH)

Go for a garden stroll, Allerton Park and Retreat Center, 10 a.m., donations appreciated

I've strolled the Allerton gardens a few times, but mostly without having an idea of the significance of what I'm looking at. The Third Saturday Garden Tour allows you to experience the unique aspects of the gardens while listening to a guide who is well versed in the history of the grounds. The tour lasts 45-60 minutes, and all ages are welcome. Since the tour will wrap around lunchtime, stop into Monticello for a bite. My favorite is The Brown Bag Deli. Delicious sandwiches and there's pie. (JM) Photo from Facebook

Take your last chance to see The ForeignerStation Theatre, Urbana, 8 p.m., $15

Seeing this play made a friend of mine decide that William...Rose II has made it onto her list of "local treasures", but that's not to say he's the only reason to go. Jace Jamison makes it through with his shirt on, even if his camos clash; Chris Taber reminds you of that nice neighbor lady, and Evan Seggebruch will break your heart as you want to pinch his cheeks. The actors definitely make you laugh and go above and beyond in this summer romp. (RK) 

Eat pizza at Papa Del's, 10 a.m.-1 a.m., price varies

I thought about Papa Del's awesome pizza pies today and I wanted to include it in the Weekender because why not? Just look at these photos by Sam Logan from the soft opening a while back and you will salivate. They open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. I'm not saying go there at 10 a.m., but you have a lot of time to decide when you want to go. The opportunities are endless. Well, within the hours of 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. (PS)

Give blood, eat ice cream, Marble Slab Creamery, Savoy, 1 to 4 p.m., free — except for some of your blood

Community Blood Services of Illinois will have its Bloodmobile at Marble Slab and it offering a bunch of incentives to get you to donate. Check this: if you donate your blood, you'll receive a free ice cream with a mix-in, a voucher for at $10 gift card, and you'll be entered to win a vacation package. That's a lot of incentive. Think about giving — you could save a life! Photo from Facebook (JH) 

Streetfest, downtown Champaign, 7 p.m., free

This Saturday, the last half of downtown Champaign's Streetfest takes place featuring music acts such as Jordan & Jill, Nickel and Dimes, and The Brat Pack. Start your Saturday in downtown at the Midwest Beer Festival and end it with the great some great local tunes, heck you might as well just camp out in downtown this weekend there's so much going on. (RG)

SUNDAY, July 16th

Check out Krannert Center's 2017-18 schedule and buy tickets, anytime, price varies

Krannert Center's 2017-18 season just went on sale, and they have a ton to offer in terms of programming and experience, of course. Tickets went on sale this past weekend, so perhaps you can check some things out this Sunday and snag tickets to something that is forthcoming. (PS)


All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we've provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.