Smile Politely

Weekender: March 14-17

A white rectangular sign with blue block letters that say VOTING. There is an orange arrow under the word.
Jessica Hammie

Thursday, March 14th

Vote, multiple locations, times vary, free

March 19th is primary day in Illinois, but you don’t need to wait until Tuesday. Early voting is underway now, and this week a whole bunch of locations opened up. You can find the full list on the Champaign County Clerk’s website. There are only a few contested races on the ballot, but every race is important. Check our voter registration and find your sample ballot here. (JM)

A gin cocktail on the bar at Pour Bros. Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Have a cocktail (or mocktail), your favorite bar or restaurant, after 5 p.m., about $15

Beer and wine are great, but cocktails are fun. Go get yourself one! Gallery Art Bar and Punch! both offer incredible mocktails if booze isn’t your thing. Order something a little indulgent, or extravagant, or silly. Why not have an adult-friendly Shirley Temple? Check out Alyssa’s Thirsty Thursday round ups for ideas. (JH)

Friday, March 15th

A round metal try with red and white checked paper. There is a blt held with toothpicks, and a pile of potato chips.
Julie McClure

Try this BL(A)T, Farren’s Pub & Eatery, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $14.50

Have you tried the new lunch menu at Farren’s yet? I went a few weeks ago and got their BLT — with avocado added — and truffled potato chips. It was a generously-sized sammie with buttery toasted bread and delicious layers of bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and the fun addition of their cajun remoulade. Pro-tip: ask for a side of blue cheese sauce to dip your chips in. Perfection. (JM)

Celebrate Urbana’s new poet laureate, Gallery Art Bar, 6 to 8 p.m., free

Downtown Urbana’s Gallery Art Bar hosts the new poet laureate, Ruby Mendenhall with an evening of poetry, art, and music. The Urbana Arts and Culture Program as well as the City of Urbana invite you to come hear about Mendenhall’s plans for her work in the upcoming year. (AP)

Inside Encanto restaurant, there are colorful banners over the dining room.
Carl Busch

Stop by the CUDO March Happy Hour mingle, Encanto, 6 p.m., free but buy drinks and snacks

Champaign Urbana Design Organization (CUDO) is hosting its March happy hour at Encanto. Have some snacks, grab a drink, and meet other creatives and designers. Maybe you’ll make a new friend, or make a connection that leads to an exciting new project. (JH)

A musician wearing a white cowboy hat and an embroidered western shirt is playing a guitar on stage. A bassist, partially out of focus, is seen in the background as is a drummer. The stage lighting casts a warm glow on the scene, highlighting the intricate details on the musician's shirt.
Steve Sym

Gallop into the Night with Wild Earp & The Free for Alls, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8:30 p.m., $10 to $15

Step into the heart of American music with Wild Earp & The Free for Alls as they take over the Rose Bowl Tavern this Friday. Immerse yourself in an evening where tradition meets modern flair, with music that spans the rich landscapes of country, rockabilly, and western soundscapes. (DP)

Saturday, March 16th

A white person is holding a print of a drawing of a heron with a snake in its mouth. The background and paper are white, the bird is blue, and the snake is black and red. The print is framed with a blond wood.
Midwestcapades on Facebook

Attend a spring art market, Funks Farm, 5961 N 1100 East Rd, Shirley, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Artists of the Corn, a Bloomington-based artist collective, is hosting its 3rd annual spring art market at Funks Farm, just south of Bloomington-Normal. The market is Saturday and Sunday, and you can definitely make a day of it by taking your time and maybe stopping in Bloomington-Normal, too. There will be more than 20 artists and vendors, many from Champaign, selling their creations. (JH)

Photo includes several images of colorful yarn in oranges, pinks, blues, greens, and yellows. Image also includes felted animal with an orange peace symbol on the belly.
Little Creek Alpacas on Facebook

Explore the Illinois Fiber Festival, Copper Creek Church, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

For those who love to knit, crochet, weave, or just walk through yarn shops touching every hand-woven strand of fiber goodness, Jubilee Farms and Leaf Livestock are coordinating the inaugural Illinois Fiber Festival at Copper Creek Church. There will be over a dozen vendors offering yarn and fiber supplies as well as handmade finished goods. Support local artisans and explore classes. The festival is free but check here for information about the costs and registration for classes. (AP)

Eat corned beef and cabbage, Martinelli’s Market Bakery & Deli, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,  $19.50

The Downtown Champaign deli will have Irish eats on special for St. Patty’s Day. One of the specials corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots. If dessert is more of your kind of celebration, go for a themed sugar cookie. (AB)

Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, Uptown Normal, 1 to 3 p.m., free

Sharin’ of the Green is an annual parade in Uptown Normal that raises money for Brightpoint, an organization that serves children and families. Head over early and grab a grilled cheese at Fiala Brothers, then stick around to enjoy the festivities. (JM)

Sunday, March 17th

An old-fashioned cocktail and a beer on the bar at Collective Pour in Downtown Champaign.
Old fashioned cocktail and beer at Collective Pour; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Do yoga and then drink beer, Collective Pour. 11 a.m. to noon, $20

Stretch your body and find zen in Downtown Champaign at Collective Pour bar with personal trainer Katie Legner. The $20 ticket includes a one hour all-levels yoga class and a post-class beer. Participants should buy a ticket in advance and bring their own mat. For more about Collective Pour, check out our review, and for more about the instructor, check out her website. Buy tickets here. (AB)

Get sham-rocked at the C-U Irish Session, Rose Bowl Tavern, 3 p.m., free

For St. Patrick’s Day, find your way to the Rose Bowl Tavern for an enchanting afternoon with the C-U Irish Session. Immerse yourself in the heart of Irish dance music tradition, where lively tunes and spirited dances create a camaraderie only found once a year, all led by our accomplished local musicians. (DP)

Harmonize with Central Illinois Sacred Harp Singing, Lower Level, U of I Music Building, 2 to 5 p.m., free

Central Illinois Sacred Harp’s March singing event welcomes all interested people. Sacred Harp singing brings together people who love to sing, regardless of skills. It’s an historical singing practice rooted in Christian hymns and choral music, but it is not a religious organization and you do not need to adhere to any particular religion to participate. (JH)

Get hyped for basketball, Pour Bros. Taproom, 5 p.m., free (but bring money for drinks)

The 200 Level will be broadcasting live from Pour Bros. during the NCAA basketball selection Sunday event. The 200 Level is a podcast focusing on Illini basketball and football from the fan’s perspective. After all the teams have been picked, attendees can get into the Champaign Showers bracket challenge. (LKG)

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, The Canopy Club, 7 p.m., $10

Join host Ceduxion for Leprechaun-fident, a St. Patrick’s day celebration with music, drag, and drink specials. There will be performances by Spank Knightly, Amber Lance-Valentino, Daeshaun Carrington, Big Poision, and Corrina Carrington. There will be prizes for the best green outfit and the best gold outfit. (LKG)

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