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The Color Run happening in Champaign on September 27th

The Color Run is happening in Champaign on Saturday, September 27th, and we're hosting the official information for the event right here in Smile Politely. Check out all the information about the event below, how to register, where the event takes place, and everything else you can imagine. Check it out below, and download the PDF here as well.


Cassette Store Day happening September 27th

Once again, record stores in Champaign-Urbana will be celebrating International Cassette Store Day on September 27th. Exile on Main Street and Error Records will both be participating, per the CSD website. I'm uncertain of what will be going down at Exile on this particular Saturday for CSD, but the Pygmalion Festival will be happening, so you might find yourself there anyway. Error Records' information is below (via their Facebook event).

Error Records is happy to be a participant in this year's Cassette Store Day. Just like Record Store Day, labels and bands release exclusive tapes just for this one day and you can only get them from independent record stores. Below is the list of releases that will be in stock. More will be added as the date gets closer.


7Seconds - Leave A Light On
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Christmas Island
Chuck Ragan - Till Midnight
Circle Jerks - Live At The House of Blues (2xCS)
Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else
Dirt Wizard - No Son Of Mine (Error Records)
Foxygen - ...And Star Power (2xCS)
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
Obliterations - Obliterations/The Hole
Pujol - Reunited States of Being
Vivian Girls - Share The Joy
Zero Boys - History Of

Coachwhips - Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine
Dan Deacon - America
Damaged Bug - Hubba Bubba
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Head Wound City - Head Wound City EP
Joy - Under The Spell Of Joy
Real Estate - Days
Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II
+ more!

Also, take 10% off everything non-CSD in the store for 9/27 only!


2014 Urbana Business Survey to close on September 19th

The City of Urbana would like to remind Urbana businesses that the 2014 Urbana Business Survey will close September 19th, 2014. The City intends to use the survey feedback to recognize what areas of improvements are needed and address any concerns Urbana businesses may have to work towards creating changes for a better business community.

The Urbana Business Survey was first administered in 2002 and again in 2009 as a means of understanding the needs of Urbana business owners and how the City could further economic development in the community. The 2014 business survey will build upon those efforts and help the City to see which areas have grown or decreased over the last five years. In addition, the survey will also help give a larger understanding of what areas need more focus during the Tax Increment Financing District and Enterprise Zone renewal.

Businesses that participate in the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 VISA gift card. Only one survey entry per business is allowed. The survey is estimated to take about ten minutes. The survey can be found at: www.urbanaillinois.us/survey. The survey will close September 19, 2014.

If you are interested in learning more about the 2014 Urbana Business Survey, please contact Brandon Boys at 217-328-8270 or bsboys@urbanaillinois.us.


U of I’s Jodi Flaws featured in the New York Times

In a recent article in the New York Times, Jodi Flaws, a bioscientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was featured in Deborah Blum's article "In Plastics and Cans, a Threat to Women." Always cool to see U of I faculty featured in a substantial media outlet, so check out the article for yourself above.

Photo by Philippe Desmazes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.


Tapas dinner at Prairie Fruits Farm this Thursday

Heirloominous Farm and Slow Food Champaign Urbana are teaming up for a tapas style dinner party at Prairie Fruits Farm on Thursday, August 28th. Tickets are $40 plus $3.19 for processing. Purchase them here

Here's the info:

Join Heirloominous Farm and Slow Food Champaign Urbana for a tapas-style party at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery on August 28. The meal will feature cherry tomatoes, tomatilloes, melons, okra and basil grown by Heirloominous Farm's Shea Belahi. Live music and a tour of the farm are other features of the night. As with all events at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, the evening is BYOB.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Basil Aioli
Black Bean Chalupas with Verde Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Crostini with Chevre and Marjoram
Pickled Watermelon Feta Salad
Pulled BBQ Chicken on Biscuits with Okra Pickles
Rice Pudding with Blackberries
Iced Tea

All proceeds will go to helping Heirloominous Farm go to Terra Madre 2014.

Slow Food International puts together Terra Madre as an international gathering of chefs, farmers, fishers, academics, artisans and more to exchange ideas and practices which strengthen the sustainable, local, and slow food movement every two years. Diversity and commitment to good, clean and fair food traditions are at the heart of Terra Madre.


The News-Gazette launches redesigned site

If you hadn't noticed yet — due to a specific set of circumstances for visiting their site — The News-Gazette has launched their brand new website with a full redesign. Check it out, as it is much cleaner than the previous site, and we all know how the last redesign went.

It'll take a bit of use to see how things are going with the new site, but overall, looks pretty good. Nice work, N-G!


Champaign Cycle named one of America’s Best Bike Shops

We just received notification that Champaign Cycle is one of America's Best Bike Shops. Check out the listing here.

The National Bicycle Dealers Association is proud to announce that your shop has been named one of America's Best Bike Shops for 2014!

Thanks to all of our customers for helping us be one of the best!


Two tickets available for Saturday’s Dinner on the Farm

In a Facebook post, Prairie Fruits Farm has announced that there are two tickets available for this Saturday's vegetarian dinner on the farm. Tickets are $125 plus the IL tax rate of 9%. 

You can purchase your tickets through the link above. Here's Saturday night's menu:

Vegetarian Dinner: Provence At face value, it's hard to convince ourselves that central Illinois can evoke images of lavender-waving southern France.  Nonetheless, we've got all the ingredients to create a menu that will make you feel like you're transported to the land of French impressionist painters. Chances are it will be hot and dry too, classic Mediterranean summer weather. The menu will feature hot summer vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, herbs and hand-made pasta. We might even throw in a dish of fresh water prawns for any pescatarian friends who just might happen to show up.  2 tickets available (as of 8/15)


Upon arrival
sparkling tarragon lemonade
Gougeres with herbes de Provence chevre
Fried squash blossoms
Creamy smoked mushrooms & shallots on toast with petit herbes

First course
Le grande Aioli: beets, carrots, peppers, baby corn (with or without fresh water prawns), served over Blue Moon Farm greens, garlic aioli and sauce "Rouille"

Second course
Soupe au Pistou; summer vegetable soup with basil

Third course
Petatou: potatoes with chevre and parsley sauce
Palate cleanser: canteloup sorbet

Fourth course
Ratatouille with wheatberries
tomato salad

Cheese course

PFFC banon

Plum clafoutis with lavender cream


Weird real estate website creates another horse shit list about Champaign-Urbana

OK, so it's not total horse shit, because they do list some decent restaurants, but it sure is obvious that the people who write these things have never stepped foot in Champaign-Urbana.

In June, they gave us a Buzzfeed-esque list about things you need to know when moving to Champaign-Urbana, which again, wasn't total horse shit, but it was one foot in the pile. 

So today, we got another email from them telling us about (in their words)14 restaurants of the most "iconic" restaurants in C-U.

And what's better, is that this dude Larry Wen, who is responsible for making sure the word about said lists gets out, contacts us every time about them and flippantly asks us to share it. 

So here you go Larry Wen, who has never been to Champaign-Urbana.

But Larry, where in the FUCK is Black Dog? Yeah. You missed that one. Just a little. 


Ice Cream Social at Common Ground August 17th

Join us in our parking lot for our 3rd Annual Ice Cream Social on Sunday, August 17th from 2-4 p.m.

This year, Common Ground challenges you, our community, to help raise 10,000 meals for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank! For a donation of any amount, you can build your own sundae with local ice cream from Kilgus Farmstead Creamery and organic toppings, enjoy local music from The Church Street Ramblers, face painting, kids entertainment from our own Produce Manager Satina, and the opportunity to meet your local foodbank staff. This event is open to everyone and a delicious way to support our Food Bank during the summer months when the need for food assistance remains high. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Did you know, summer is actually the time of year the foodbank needs support the most? Children are out of school which means more mouths to feed at home, while at the same time fewer donations are made in summer months.

Join our Facebook event for more details.