Smile Politely

Weekender: April 25-28

Under a giant blue banner with the word START in capital letters. Beneath are seven athletes in wheelchairs in the start position. Behind them are thousands of racers.
Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend on Facebook

Thursday, April 25th

Buy some Champaign-roasted coffee, Columbia Street Roastery, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., $12.95 for 12oz

I took my first trip to Columbia Street Roastery on Columbia Street in Champaign and kind of feel in love with their coffee. I’d had it before at restaurants, but having it at home was even better (and cheaper). My favorite was the Crane Alley blend because it had such a strong espresso flavor, but check out my full review from Monday to learn more about other coffee blends. Or just go to the store. It was so fun to shop and see all the snazzy coffee stuff in person. (AB)

Run or just watch the runners, various locations, Th 4 to 7:30 p.m.; F 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sa 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., free 

Maybe you’re a runner who’s been training all winter for a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon. Maybe you just like cheering on the runners. If you aren’t participating in the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend there is a full weekend of activities before the main race on Saturday morning. Things kick off with the Health and Fitness Expo and conclude with the marathon on Saturday. This will be the first race with a new route that goes through Savoy. All of the races, but especially the marathon, are truly inspiring to watch. And if you’re curious you can read more about the race in my interview with Director Jan Seeley. (LKG)

Learn about curation from a St. Louis Art Museum curator, School of Art + Design, 408 E Peabody Dr, Champaign, Room 316, 5:30 p.m., free

Charlie Farrell is the 2022-24 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Her talk, “Finding Kindred: Foraging Enduring Relationships in Cultural Institutions,” will address her research and the work she’s been doing at SLAM. Learn more here. (JH)

Friday, April 26th

Croissants and cannelés from BakeLab in Urbana in a white box.
Croissants and cannelés from BakeLab; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Stock up on breakfast for Saturday, BakeLab, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., prices vary

It’s marathon weekend, which means stay the hell home on Saturday morning and let the runners run. They only do it once a year, so don’t even complain. Prepare! Go to BakeLab and get some croissants and cannelés and stay home comfy cozy in pjs eating delicious pastries and liking all the runners’ Instagram posts about the race. (AB)

Branch out musically for a good cause, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8:30 p.m.,  $15 to $20 

Join Nathan Graham and Merry Travelers at Rose Bowl Tavern for a night of heartfelt melodies and community spirit for the Prairie Rivers Network – Save the Trees Benefit Concert. Dive into a musical blend of Chicago blues and Nashville Americana as Nathan Graham stirs souls. Alongside, the local ensemble Merry Travelers will deliver their signature Urbana sound, ensuring every note supports the Prairie Rivers Network’s fight against herbicide pollution. This event intends to build awareness and fund initiatives to preserve our natural heritage. (DP)

Saturday, April 27th

On a Villa Grove farm, there are plant starts for swiss chard for sale on a wooden table in front of a vintage red truck and weathered greenhouse on day with blue skies and wispy clouds.
Alyssa Buckley

Buy plants for your garden and a strawberry pop-tart, Ben & Molly’s Farm, prices vary, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

I have waited all winter for this: plant planting and pop-tart season. Ben & Molly’s Farm (previously named Meyer Produce) will have a plant sale at their farm. They will have over 50 varieties of herbs and vegetable starts available to purchase, and Cakes & Bakes by Kate will be there, too. Bring $5 for the best pop-tart of my life, Kate’s signature strawberry pop-tart. (AB)

Check out some fashion, and maybe shop for some, too, Circular Fashion Expo at Siebel Center for Design, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. + 6 to 7:30 p.m., free entry, but bring money to buy stuff

U of I student fashion enthusiasts are hosting their fifth CFE, with thrifting, vendors, and a fashion show. The vending happens during the day, until 5 p.m.; the runway show will happen at 6 p.m. The Siebel Center fills quickly, so be sure to get there early to grab a seat. (JH)

A black background with the rough outline of a duck in green lighted wire.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Instagram

Delight in Lightwire Theatre’s Ugly Duckling, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 2 p.m., $10 to $60

Lightwire Theatre brings this beloved classic tale to the stage using a combination of electroluminescent wire, puppetry, technology, and dance. With sparkling choreography and dazzling visuals, this production will be a delight for the whole family. (AP)

Sunday, April 28th

A map of the earth with continents in yellow and oceans in purple
World’s Largest Puzzle

Celebrate the world’s largest puzzle, University of Illinois Main Library, 2 to 4 p.m., free

The University Library will be hosting a reception to celebrate the completion of the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle is a combination of 60 puzzles that were completed across Champaign-Urbana. What a Wonderful World is 8 x 29 feet and made up of 60,000 pieces. There will be snacks, puzzle activities, and more. (LKG)

Stand up and sing loud to support justice, Rose Bowl Tavern, 3 p.m., donations accepted

Step into the Rose Bowl Tavern on Sunday for a powerful celebration of reproductive rights at the Party for Reproductive Justice. Experience an electrifying lineup including Paul Kotheimer, Amasong, Haki N Dem, New Souls, Afro D & Friends, and Emily the Band, with Callie from Mix 94.3 guiding the festivities as MC. Your pay-what-you-can donation and raffle participation will directly aid organizations like Elevated Access and Midwest Access Coalition, championing the cause of reproductive justice. Join the party to amplify voices and make an impact through unity and song. (DP)

A white man and a white woman face each other on a stage. Behind them are the red and green puppet pieces manipulated by three people holding parts of the puppet.
Parkland Theatre on Facebook

Don’t miss Little Shop of Horrors, Parkland College Theatre, 3 p.m., $18 to $25

Sunday’s matinee is your last chance to catch director Mike O’Brien’s creative Audrey II at the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College. A colorful show with all the catchy and lovable songs from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s classic musical comedy about a carnivorous plant with dark designs on humanity. (AP)

Eat fried chicken and fried rice, Elnora’s Catering Pop-up, 5:30 p.m. until sold out, prices vary

Elnora’s Catering Cafe will host a fried chicken and fried rice pop-up at Baldarotta’s inside the Lincoln Square Mall. The last time I had Elnora’s Catering food, it was pretty good and sold out. I remember I was crazy about that fried rice because it had seasoned chicken, green bell peppers, and onions with a Louisiana flavor profile. (AB)

Laugh with David Sedaris, The Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $47+

David Sedaris is such a delight. He’s so, so funny — “sardonic wit and incisive social critiques” is how the Virginia describes his humor. He returns to the Virginia to tell his stories and read from his latest collection of essays. There are still some seats left; you won’t regret going. (JH)

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.

More Articles