Smile Politely

Weekender: August 18-20

Rollerskates are lined up on blue and orange shelves at Skateland in Savoy.
Anna Longworth

Friday, August 18th

Stay the hell away from campus (if you can), Champaign-Urbana, all weekend

The U of I students are back this week, and this weekend, they will take over Campustown — as they should! Steer clear of the crowds by hitting up some off campus restaurants. Boomerang’s has a new menu that includes a fried peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. The Literary Café in Downtown Champaign just opened this Wednesday. Go eat somewhere at Five Points like Shawarma Joint’s Urbana location or Po’ Boys for barbecue and pizza. (AB)

Catch Friday Night Live, Downtown Champaign, 6 to 8 p.m., free

It’s hard to believe, but there are only two Fridays left for Friday Night Live. Where did the summer go? Find the full lineup for this Friday here. I’ve enjoyed the addition of Fremont and Main (right alongside The Space) as a venue. You can enjoy a delicious burg while you hear some tunes. I had one with marshmallow creme on it recently. Wild. (JM)

Saturday, August 19th

a white background with individual stems of flowers laid in a row
Secret Gardens CU on Facebook

Participate in a community art project, Urbana Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., free

Cris Hughes of Secret Gardens CU has been collecting foraged items from the community this summer that will be used to create a huge 3-D botanical collage. This weekend is your last chance to drop items off to her booth at the Urbana Farmers Market to be used in the project. The finished artwork will debut at Anita Purves Nature Center in September. (SSO)

Touch a Truck, Carle at the Fields, 10 a.m. (sensory friendly hour at 9 a.m.), free but $15 donation is suggested

Get a chance to explore and observe a wide variety of vehicles at the Paving Pathways Touch a Truck event. There will be buses, emergency service, and utility vehicles, along with activities and food trucks. This event is sponsored by the Crisis Nursery and Duce Construction. Money raised will support the Crisis Nursery and the community support that the organization provides. If you have a family member who is sensitive to sound or lights, there will be a sensory friendly hour from 9 to 10 a.m. During this time, there will be no sirens, lights or horns. (LKG)

A group of volleyball players wearing a uniform of navy shorts, white knee pads and shoes, and white jerseys with orange sleeves and numbers clap and cheer on the court. The stands are full of fans watching.
Illinois Volleyball

Play some volleyball and meet the team, Huff Hall, 11 a.m., free but bring money for food

In case you decide to ignore Alyssa’s advice above and venture on campus, this Fan Day celebration with the women’s volleyball team is a great opportunity to get active and meet members of the team. There will be skill stations with the coaches and athletes, player introductions, and food trucks. Getting to support and interact with these players is such a fun way to participate in Illini athletics. For more volleyball this season, see the full schedule of the Big Ten lineup. (LKG)

A glass of red wine in a stemless glass is on a wooden table inside Fire Doll Studio for a candlemaking happy hour. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Sip wine and make a custom candle, Fire Doll Studio, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., $40

Have you ever made a candle? I went to a happy hour candlemaking event at Fire Doll Studio with my friend, and we had a blast. The ticket includes a beverage and your very own candle (to be picked up the next day). It’s fun to sniff all the different mix-ins before deciding what to pour into the candle jar. I went with dulce de leche and library for my candle’s scent, but there are so many different fragrances that I already want to go back and make another. (AB)

The five members of Modern Drugs all dressed in black, standing close together against a sky blue background
Modern Drugs on Facebook

Take (in) some Modern Drugs, Pour Bros. Craft Taproom, 7 p.m., free

Drawing from the ethereal vibes of 80s synth-pop bands, Modern Drugs craft a sound that’s both familiar and utterly original. The evening will kick off with Springfield’s own rock sensation, The Lovelorn. (DP)

Skate to 70s and 80s classics, Skateland Savoy, 7 to 10 p.m., $11 admission, plus skate rental

Feels weird and gross to say that 70s and 80s music is classic, but alas, we are more than 40 years out from that time. Break out your skates (or rent them) and boogie around the rink to the music of your youth. Don’t boogie too hard, though, because falling down at 40+ hurts quite a bit. Skateland also has rollerblades, if that’s more your speed (it’s mine). (JH)

Enjoy some 90s alternative, Britpop, and grunge music, Bentley’s, 10 p.m. to 2 p.m., free but buy some drinks

Bentley’s is hosting 90s Alternative Night w/ Hillvira & Baub Danger, who will spin the best tracks from 30 years ago. If the weather allows, they will be on the patio, which is a lovely spot. Grab your Doc Martens and brown lip liner (both are back on trend). Don’t forget to tip your bartender. (JH)

Sunday, August 20th

A blue dish that has holders for deviled eggs, and two chickens painted in the center.
Tom Ackerman

Find some treasures, U of I Stock Pavillion, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., bring money to spend

It’s time for the annual Dump and Run Sale, put on by the University YMCA. Both Saturday (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Sunday you can shop this gigantic sale, and find some new to you things and save items from a landfill. A couple of years ago, Tom shared some unique finds. If you want the best selection, shop Saturday. If you want the best deals, Sunday is the way to go. It’s a $3 bag sale as well as 1/2 price. The last 30 minutes, you can get items for free (JM).

Assault your sonic senses with 30 bands, Canopy Club, 5 p.m., $5 advance, $10 at the door

The Quad Day After Party may be a music extravaganza to introduce incoming students to one of the top venues in the area, but music is for all ages, and if you want to see some of the best and brightest young bands in the area, the Canopy Club is a great place to be this Sunday. (DP)

A close up of the literary's front window. They have flowers in the window and a black awning
Serenity Stanton Orengo

Meet a local poet, The Literary, 6 p.m., free, but you can buy her book

The Literary is hosting poet Nikiaya Brandon for a reading and talk this week. Brandon’s new poetry collection, Signed Kiaya, explores themes of identity, love, family, and Blackness. Keep an eye out for my review of the book and an interview with Brandon next week. (SSO)

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.

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