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Allerton Park’s plant sale taking place May 6-7

Want to get out of the house and enjoy nature while supporting Allerton Park at the same time? Well here's your chance because Allerton Park and Recreation Center will be hosting it's 4th Annual plant sale in the upcoming weeks.

Here's all the info:

Plan a trip out to Allerton and stop by our Fourth Annual Plant Sale! We will have annuals, herbs, perennials, arranged hanging baskets, and ALLERTON BLUEBELLS (!!!) for sale. The sale is open from 9am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday (May 6-7) and will be located next to the Visitor Center. Come out to enjoy a spring day at the Park and support Allerton!

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U of I’s Cozad competition awarded Entrepreneurial Event of the Year by Future Founders

Future Founders has recognized TEC's Cozad New Venture Competition as Campus Entrepreneurial Event of the Year. Every year, several Chicagoland colleges and universities are awarded and reconginzed by Future Founders for their contributions to the entrepreneurial community.

The event, EntrepreneurshipU Awards, is an intiative of the Future Founders Startup program and is designed to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurshup and innovation at Chicagoland universities. 11 different colleges and universities were awarded.

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Watch Puzzle Quest smash stuff in their new video

Urbana-based garage punk band Puzzle Quest have released a video for their song “The New Flesh.” In it, the band members take sledgehammers and pickaxes to various types of electrical appliances, mostly ancient computer monitors and televisions. The song and the video solidify the new group’s emergence on the C-U music scene by tearing a gash right down the middle of it. I’ll go ahead and say that “Smile Politely does not condone the disposal of electronic devices in such a manner,” but hey, it sure is fun to watch someone else do it, right?

Check out the video below. “The New Flesh” is off of the band’s forthcoming album, Remnants of the Orb, due out on May 13th. Learn more about Puzzle Quest in the first part of Casey’s “Burning Down The House” series, and catch the band live this weekend at Chez BonBon.

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Urbana Arts Grants to be announced this Friday at Pizza M

The Urbana Public Arts Program awards grant money every year to local artists and organizations who will be making art to experience in Urbana. 

The 2017 recipients have been announced on the Urbana Arts website, but will be officially celebrated this Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Pizza M. 

The event is free and open to the public, and will give community members a chance to meet the people who will be bringing projects to fruition in the year to come! 

The organizers are asking for email RSVPs as a way to gauge the crowd, but there is also a facebook event where you can click "going."

The grants are awarded in four categories: Individual, Group, Nonprofit, and Festival. There are a lot of incredible names on this list (below), but here are a few about which I'm particularly excited: 

  • Latrelle Bright's The Water Project
  • Speak Life Project by Tasleem Jamila
  • One People's Summer Arts Camp art exhibition at the IMC
  • Author Maggie Stiefvater visiting the Urbana Free Library
  • Pens to Lens 
  • ISYM Hip-Hop
  • Heartland Maker Fest
  • Urbana First Fridays

But that's just me... which of these are you most eagerly anticipating? 

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Illinifest Student Film Festival to take place April 29th

Every year, the College of Media at U of I hosts a short-film festival that aims to bring diversity to the community. The festival is curated by students for the community and accepts submissions from all over the world. 

For more info check out their story below:

Illinifest Student Film Festival is a celebration of student and professional short-filmmaking, curated by students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our mission is to create a platform for diverse voices in filmmaking and expose our campus and community audience to short films from all over the globe. The Midwest Student category showcases works by students all over the U.S. Midwest to help pave a path for their films. The World Competition presents short films by filmmakers all over the world in an effort to engage our local audience in a dialogue about film and film culture.

Illinifest is open to all genres and themes. In 2016 we received 123 submissions from over 20 countries. The 2017 festival will take place on Saturday, April 29th in the Lincoln Hall Theater.

For more information, check out the official website here.

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Green Street businesses remain open during construction

If you've been driving around Champaign-Urbana, recently, there's a decent chance that you've encountered closures along Green Street, what is (arguably) C-U's most populated street.

While the construction seems to snarl some traffic and certainly looks intimidating, the City of Champaign, City of Urbana, CUMTD and the University of Illinois would like to remind you that businesses still, in fact, are open and will be for the duration of the much-needed construction project.

For a full briefing, check out the MCORE release below:

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No-Movie Theatre series at Art Co-Op

You may have heard recently that the Art is having technical difficulties with its digital projector (please stand by...) 

But being artistic, creative, and adaptable has been the earmark of our local landmark, and responsible for keeping it in business consistently for over 100 years. 

So this week, it's been announced that there will be an entire series of special events that don't require a screen, including: 

  • War of the Worlds (old school, on the radio...)
  • Movie trivia night
  • Soundtrack listening party 
  • Open reading erotica stories hosted by Veronica Bleaus

Check out the facebook event for specific dates and times, but basically if you're downtown after dinner, you can still hit up the Art for some entertainment (and drinks! Bar/Concessions will be open)

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Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers set to open in Champaign

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a fast-food chain with locations in 28-ish states, is opening a restauarant in Champaign, near Marketplace Mall, according to our friends at Chamabanamoms.com. The closest locations right now are in Springfield and Mattoon. 

As a person from the East Coast, I have never heard of Freddy's, but there appears to be some excitement on social media about this new Shake Shack/Culver's-like joint. I imagine some people feel here like some in Connecticut felt when Connecticut got its first Sonic. 

Quite frankly, I'm down with some frozen dessert options like this: 

Top photo from Facebook
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48th Annual Kappa Flower Sale happening May 4-6

To me, spring time means spring flowers, and when you can enjoy the seasonal favorite while giving to a good cause, I'm all in. This year Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Flower Sale celebrates it's 48th year and benefits Cunningham Children's Home

For more information, check out the press release below:

The Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Flower Sale celebrates its 48th year with total donations giving back over $89,000 back to the community.  This year, all net proceeds will benefit Cunningham Children's Home.

The sale will take place May 4-6, 2017 at the Indian Acres Swim Club, 1 Arrow Road, Champaign.  Hours are May 4 from 12-4pm; May 5 from 10am-5pm; and May 6 from 9am-12pm.

The sale includes geraniums, impatiens, and many other types of annuals in a variety of colors; patio gardens; hanging baskets; herbs; potted plants; and foliage.

For more information, contact Kappa Flower Sale Chair Gail McWilliams, 217.778.2511, jgmew@comcast.net or Publicity Chair Jayne DeLuce, 217.714.3540, jayned@visitchampaigncounty.org

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Champaign Farmers’ Market 2017 season opens May 16th

Opening day for The Land Connection Champaign Farmers' Market has been announced. Join them on May 16th from 3:30-6:30 p.m.for great local food and vendors in the heart of Downtown Champaign. 

This year the market is debuting a new kids' program, Market Seedlings, the last Tuesday of every month. The market is also partnering with local chefs to offer more cooking demonstrations and meal planning ideas.

This year's market will run on Tuesday afternoon's until mid-October. For more information, check out the event page here.