Smile Politely

Weekender: June 23-25

Several young Black girls in blue and yellow t-shirts and matching blue shoes are in a line doing a dance. There is a crowd of people looking on.
Urbana Park District on Facebook

Friday, June 23rd

Eat a fish sandwich, Legend’s, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., $12.50

Fridays are for eating fish. If you’re hungry for fish in town, check out Remington’s fish list that published today, she shared four fish sandwiches to eat around Champaign-Urbana including this fish sandwich from Legend’s. She wrote, “the filet had a crispy, battered outside with a soft, juicy center.” Legend’s only offers this fish sandwich on Fridays and Saturdays, so this weekend, stop by the Campustown bar while most students are still away on summer break. (AB)

5 members of Lyle Lovett and his big band performing onstage.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

Experience the sounds of Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Virginia Theatre, 7:30 p.m, $95-216

Enjoy an evening of classic hits and new melodies from Grammy-winning artist Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at the Virginia Theatre, including pieces from his critically praised album, 12th of June. Additionally, $1.00 from each ticket sale will go towards the U-C Books to Prisoners, a commendable initiative to provide books to prisoners in Illinois. (DP)

Alyssa Buckley

Try some vegan food, all over C-U, hours and prices vary

This month, thirteen Champaign-Urbana restaurants are participating in a monthlong vegan challenge. Yesterday, I shared four tasty, omnivore-approved vegan bites that are worth a try. I especially liked the veggie plantain sandwich at El Paraiso, the Latin American restaurant in Downtown Urbana. If you’re vegan, try the special menu items before the June Vegan Chef Challenge ends. (AB)

Saturday, June 24th

a wide angle view of the Illinois baseball field. There are freshly mowed grass lines the brown baseball diamond and the worlds "Illinois" in big orange block letters. Above there is a blue sky with white clouds.
University of Illinois Athletics

Catch a baseball game on the big screen, Illinois Field, 10:30 a.m., free but registration is encouraged 

Whether you root for the Chicago Cubs or the St. Louis Cardinals, there is no better way to celebrate a friendly rivalry than with concessions, games, and special guests. Health Alliance and Chambana Moms are hosting a viewing party at Illini field. Tailgating starts at 10:30 a.m. and the game will begin broadcasting on the big screen at 12:10 p.m. The first 400 people to arrive will get a free swag bag. (LKG)

Check out some “razzle dazzle rope jumping,” Champaign Public Library, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., free

David Fisher, The Rope Warrior, will give three performances of his Guinness Book of World Records-holding jump rope skills. He holds the world record for “rump jumps,” which is when he jumps with his butt on the ground, passing the rope under his booty. Yes, really. May we all have an ounce of the motivation and dedication it takes to become a rope warrior. (JH)

Find community with your neighbors, King Park, 12 to 4 p.m., free

It’s time for the annual MLK Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Day. This afternoon of food, music, games, and community building started 25 years ago when Urbana resident Jettie Rhodes asked the question: Who is my neighbor? The celebration has continued year after year, and it’s always a fun time. (JM)

Learn to dance salsa and bachata, Urbana Dance Company, 2 to 5 p.m., $40 for the day

If you have been contemplating learning some salsa since reading my recent interview with dance instructor Cinnamon Trammel, this weekend is your chance. Urbana Dance Company is hosting a salsa and bachata workshop this weekend for all levels of dancers. Salsa will be covered on Saturday and bachata on Sunday; you can come for just an hour ($16), a day ($40), or both days ($60). Registration is not required — feel free to show up if the mood strikes you. (SSO)

A large tortoise is sitting in a grassy area near a tented sign that says Brews at the Zoo, with an illustration of a tortoise.
Miller Park Zoological Society on Facebook

Drink some brews at a zoo, Miller Park Zoo, 3 to 8 p.m., $45

Head over to Bloomington for the annual Brews at the Zoo event. There will be 16 different breweries on hand, including Triptych as well B-N breweries Keg Grove, White Oak, Desthil, and Lil’ Beaver. Your ticket will get you four beer sample, two food samples, and a sampling glass. You can also purchase more sampling tickets while you’re there. Your admission ticket must be purchased online. (JM)

Watch a Firefly Show, Bluestem Hall Nature School, 7:45 to 9:30 p.m., $10-25

As a 37 year-old adult, I still smile, whenever I see my first firefly of summer. This event at Bluestem Hall is a fundraiser for the Bluestem Hall Nature School. Tickets can be purchased online and proceeds from this event will go towards the nonprofit program for nature-based education. There will be a firepit and an Entomologist to teach about these amazing insects. Blankets and snacks are welcome while you watch the fireflies come out. (LKG)

a burlesque dancer in grey pants and a white crop top with orange suspenders waves large green fabric in the air.
Jeff Putney

See a burlesque and vaudeville show, Seven Saints beer garden, 8 p.m., $25

Seven Saints is hosting The Weird, Wild, and Wonderful World of Carnivále Debauche in their beer garden this Saturday. Advanced tickets for this burlesque and vaudeville show are sold out, but if you get there early there will be some at the door for $25. Doors open at 7 p.m. This event is 21 and over only. (SSO)

A soft-focused photo of a young woman with short blonde hair holding what looks to be a pile of feathers with what looks like a lake at sunset in the background

Revel in the ethereal with music from OTNES, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $10 advance, $15 door 

Experience the sounds of OTNES as they mix old-school electronic pop with live music and heartfelt singing, offering a simple, enjoyable experience. Also performing is Larry Anthony, an emerging artist in R&B-pop-rock, whose meaningful lyrics and catchy tunes are sure to please. (DP)

Sunday, June 25th

A meadow with tall grasses. There are four stone statues with faces that jut out of the meadow. In the background there is a line of green leafy trees.
Sam Logan

Do something nice for yourself, around C-U, all weekend, prices vary

Sometimes the world is a difficult place in which to exist, and instead of becoming completely overwhelmed by all of it, try finding an hour, an afternoon, a whole day (if you’re lucky) to do something for yourself that brings you a little joy. Head to BakeLab for an amazing croissant. Buy something cute at Golden Weather Goods. Take a walk at Meadowbrook Park. Do all of those things. Peruse the rest of Smile Politely to find something new to check out. (JH)

Participate in Acts of Joyful Insurrection, Independent Media Center, 1 to 8 p.m., free

This weekend marks the 1st annivesary of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court. If that makes you feel like channeling your rage in a productive sort of way, then join U-C Reproductive Justice in a day of action. There will be a poetry workshop, a teach-in, and zine making. You can also make abortion aftercare kits for Planned Parenthood, as well as care kits for those traveling here to obtain abortion care. In the evening there will be live music. Find the full schedule of activities on their website. (JM)

Rock out to four bands, Rose Bowl, 7 p.m., $10 suggested cover

Hailing from New Orleans, Morgan Orion and the Afterburners blend timeless and contemporary tones to produce their distinctive rock and roll sound. Renowned for their infectious tunes, smart lyrics, and vibrant stage presence, they have charmed global audiences through numerous tours and album releases. Get there at 7 p.m. to also enjoy support acts The Whip Appeal, Lily Unless, and The If Only’s. (DP)

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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