Smile Politely

Weekender: June 9-11

A chalk drawing of a rainbow, with the words And Justice for All written underneath.
Tuscola GSA

Friday, June 9th

10 of Robb Springfield's Stilt Houses creations are on a gallery wall in 2 rows of 5 works each. The stilt house images are large and bold in black, red, orange, and blue. The background of each picture is an Illinois map.
Robb Springfield on Facebook

Check out the Home art exhibit, Champaign County History Museum, 1 to 5 p.m., free

I recently highlighted Robb Springfield’s upcoming art exhibit Home as one of my five recommendations for the arts in June, and this weekend is finally your chance to check it out. Springfield creates his stilt house pieces using maps of Illinois as his source material. The exhibit will run through the month of June; check their website for additional days and times. (SSO)

Jazz up your Friday happy hour on the patio, Rose Bowl Tavern, 5 p.m., no cover

Fill your Friday happy hour with rhythm and melody from Erik Lund’s Jazz Friends, a standout group on the local jazz scene, performing every second Friday of the month at the Rose Bowl Tavern. Treat your ears to an enjoyable mix of engaging tunes and dynamic performances from some of the area’s skilled jazz musicians. It’s a relaxed yet lively showcase of local talent and the enduring appeal of jazz. (DP)

See a broadway musical in a small town, Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, 8 p.m., $25-41.25

Have you ever been to Little Theatre on the Square? According to their website, they are the “only Actors’ Equity Association” affiliated theatre between Chicago and St. Louis, and professional actors perform in the musicals that make up each season. Right now you can go see Jersey Boys. Why not make that your Friday evening plan? Grab your tickets here. (JM)

Saturday, June 10th

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

Run a 5K for Pride, Pound the Pavement for Pride 5k, 8 a.m., $40

Celebrate Pride with a 3.1 mile run and colorful powders being thrown in your face. Pre-registered participants get a medal and a t-shirt, but you can also register from 7 to 8 a.m. Come back later that night for Queen of the Corn drag show. The events are hosted by the Tuscola GSA. Read more about the organization in our interview from last year. You can check out more a few more Pride events in the Holiday edition of Get Your Culture Here. (LKG)

A box holding a case of Fitz's rootbeer is stacked on other boxes of soda. The box is red and white with blue text.
Mahomet Soda Festival on Facebook

Drink lots of tiny shots of soda, Mahomet Soda Festival, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., free entry, 10 tickets for $5 (you can also buy an unlimited tasting pass)

Once upon a time this soda festival was in Homer. It’s since moved to Mahomet, but the sticky, sugar rush headache you’ll have after throwing back shots of soda is the same. Grab the kids, as there will be plenty of family-friendly stuff to do. I recommend splurging for the wristband for the ultimate tasting experience. (JH)

Play some board games, Urbana Free Library, 2 to 6 p.m., free

The Urbana Free Library’s Second Saturday Board Game program is this weekend. Bring the fam and play whatever board game(s) they have on hand, which include old favorites and new games. Volunteers will be on hand to help explain the rules of games with which you may not be familiar. (JH)

A close image of a steak huarache from Guerrero Azteca. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Order a huarache with some wine, Alto Vineyards, 5 to 9 p.m., $13

The new taco truck Guerrero Azteca will be at Alto Vineyards this Saturday night for dinner service. I love the steak huarache from this taco truck, and the horchata is delicious as well. If you haven’t been to Alto Vineyards, it’s a Champaign winery with over twenty wines with places to drink indoors and outside. Saturday night’s forecast is in the mid-70s, and that sounds pretty much ideal for an evening at a vineyard. (AB)

Enjoy a freeform dance experience, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 6 p.m., $30

Ecstatic Dance Champaign-Urbana is hosting their monthly dance event which they describe as a “freeform movement and music journey that nurtures connection and community.” The event encourages mindfulness and introspection: cell phones are not allowed, there is no talking on the dance floor, and participants are encouraged to enjoy the event in whatever way moves them. Advanced registration is required. (SSO)

An abstract painting composed of blue, white, green, black, and yellow streaks of paint.
Courtney Fleeger

Meet a new artist, Analog Wine Bar, 7-9 p.m., free

Analog is hosting an opening reception for queer artist Courtney Fleeger for the month of June. Fleeger’s work focuses on the relationship between color and emotion. Her work will be on display until the end of the month. See some beautiful art, try some wine, and take some home. (LKG)

A sky at dusk with pinkish wispy clouds and stars beginning to dot the sky
Alex Bones Carroll

Gaze at the stars, Middle Fork River Forest Preserve District Activity Center, 8 p.m. to midnight, free

The Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society will be at Middle Fork with telescopes, and are ready to show you stars and planets and tell you things about them. All ages are welcome, but kids need to have a parent or guardian, obviously. You can bring a little picnic, and bring chairs and/or a blanket for stargazing. As a designated Dark Sky Park, Middle Fork is the ideal place to do just that. Watch the CCFPD Facebook page for weather updates that day. (JM)

Check out some music on the porch, 1798 CR 700N in Sidney, 7 p.m., free

Jim Eisenmenger is excitedly reopening his front porch to live music events after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. The musical evening will spotlight three acts, Christiana Benton, The Lunar Year, and Fiona Kimble, at the unique venue located in Sidney. Guests are encouraged to bring along lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and children’s outdoor toys, but kindly requested to leave their dogs at home. (DP)

The three members of Sweetmelk bending over in a close-up photo. The band looks sweaty, they appear happy, and there is a black background.
Sweetmelk on Facebook

Get fed and get rocked on a Saturday night, The Space, 8:30 p.m., $10

The Space keeps adding to and tweaking their eclectic and delicious menu. Come see what they have in store for you Saturday, and stick around to get rocked by the night’s headliner, Kenna Mae and their band Sweetmelk, but before you do, check out their brand new single “What Do I Do?”. Urbana’s E-Z Core act Safety Always Off and Ant Hattie get the evening of sonic delight started off. (DP)

Sunday, June 11th

Food items sit on two metal trays covered in brown paper. On the left tray is a toasted sandwich cut in half with meat and sauce spilling out. The tray also contains a fork and an unopened plastic container with a cucumber salad. At the top of the right tray is an open Italian beef sandwich with papers, cheese, and beef visible as well as a cup of dipping au jus sauce. At the bottom is a Chicago-style hot dog covered in pepper and onions. Photo by Tayler Neumann.
Tayler Neumann

Go for a deli dinner, Martinelli’s Market, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., prices vary

Tayler’s review of Martinelli’s Market which published yesterday made me hungry for a meal at the Downtown Champaign deli. That Chicago dog sounds like a perfect bite on the patio this weekend, but the restaurant offers a variety of food. Go for a cold cut sando or one of the hot specials like Italian beef or a Chicago dog. Save room for dessert because Martinelli’s Market has baked goods by Central Illinois Bakehouse. (AB)

A museum panel that features a large image of a young Japanese American girl sitting on a piece of luggage. In a circle below is an image of a Japanese American woman in glasses. Below the images there is a block of text on a yellow background.
Julie McClure with permission from Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois.

Pay a visit to Spurlock Museum, 12 to 4 p.m., free ($3 suggested donation)

Summer is a great time to enjoy campus institutions, and it looks like we might get some glorious rain on Sunday. Perfect opportunity for some museum strolling. Check out Nikkeijin Illinois, an important exhibit on the Japanese-American experience during World War II, or their newest permanent exhibit: Welcome to the Pow-wow: An Intertribal Pow-wow Experience. You can also offer your input in the on the Gallery of African Cultures, as they are trying to adapt the current exhibit. (JM)

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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