Smile Politely

Get your Culture here: Holiday edition

A black man and woman stand against a black railing in front of a window and red, yellow, and green balloons. The man is on the left and wears a black t-shirt with yellow, red, and green writing on it and holds a sign that says. The woman on the right is wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts.
Champaign Public Library Facebook

Ah, June. The first month of summer. School is out, pools are open, music is outdoors, and celebrations are in full swing. This month I wanted to pick out a few fun ways to celebrate the upcoming holidays. I love a tradition as much as the next person, but it’s always fun to mix things up a little bit and find new ways to celebrate holidays. So what are we celebrating? Let’s dive in.

Three people stand together smiling at the camera. On the left is a white woman with blond pigtails, a rainbow necklace and headband, and a black t-shirt that says free mom hugs. The man next to her is tan with a mustache and beard, sunglasses, a rainbow sweatband and a black t-shirt that says "free dad hugs, I'm proud of you" on the right is a younger child wearing a tie dye rainbow shirt holding a medal.
Tuscola GSA Website


There are numerous ways to celebrate Pride all month-long. Danville is hosting the first Pride Fest, Toast to Taylor St has a drag show, and many more events throughout the community. In Tuscola, however, you can celebrate Pride by participating in a colorful 5k race. Participants of Pound the Pavement for Pride will get to run through colorful powders during the race and will receive a shirt and medal with advance registration. The race is hosted by the Tuscola Gay Straight Alliance Booster Club. The Tuscola GSA was founded to support the Tuscola High School GSA and they provide support through fundraisers and promoting equality in the community. The proceeds from the 5k are used to provide scholarships for the Tuscola High School GSA members. You can also stick around for their second annual Queen of the Corn Drag Show which will start at 7 p.m. 

Two boys jump off the side of the pool and into the water. One is wearing yellow shorts with two black stripes and one boy is wearing green shorts with two black stripes. There are yellow umbrellas and other swimmers in the background.
Sholem Aquatic Center

Father’s Day

I have strong opinions on how holidays can become reduced to doing the same thing each year. For Mother’s Day, it’s overpriced brunch, for Father’s Day it’s ties and a day away golfing. That’s why I like this Father’s Day Celebration at Sholem Aquatic Center. Dad figures can still get some time outside, but with their families. There are so many pool options at Sholem and they’ll be releasing more details soon, so keep an eye on their site for more information.

Three black woman stand on a basketball court waving large flags in the air. There is a blue sky behind them and a few white clouds.
Champaign Park District Website


Juneteeth celebrations are becoming more common and I was happy to see a variety of events throughout Champaign County this year. The Champaign Park District and the Champaign Public Library are hosting their annual Juneteenth celebration at Douglass Park. This year’s celebration, from noon to 3 p.m., will feature music and craft vendors, an arts and crafts area, a bounce house, and an obstacle course for kids. And if you are interested in being a vendor, applications will be open until June 8th. 

And, to keep the party going a new celebration will be debuting at Colbert Park in Savoy from noon to 6 p.m. What I like about this celebration is that everyone is encouraged to wear the color that represents your generation (Baby Boomers wear yellow, Gen X wears red, Millennials wear green, Gen Z wears black, and Gen Alpha wears white). This event will have free food, shopping, music, and poetry. And they are still accepting applications for vendors (until June 1st) and volunteers to help the event run smoothly.

Two white hands hold wet pulp in their hands. Water drips through their fingers into the cloudy water below.
Fresh Press Studio Facebook

Summer Solstice

Do you celebrate the longest day of the year? I always want to, and then the sun goes down and I realize I missed it again. At Allerton you can celebrate the summer solstice over two days with Fresh Press Studio making your own paper. On the first day, participants will create their own pulp using local fibers, flowers, and midsummer herbs. You are also encouraged to bring your own materials to put into your pulp to add meaning to your final product. The second day will focus on painting the pulp using stencils and pigmented pulp solution. Solstice themed designs will be available or you can draw directly on the wet paper. Participants will then need to take their paper to Fresh Press to be pressed and finished in the dry box. You must register in advance and attend both days to participate.

Culture Editor

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