Smile Politely

Weekender: May 5-7

An Asian man with short gray hair is wearing a teal blue yukata, and holding a sword in one hand. A crowd watches behind him.
Melinda Edwards

Friday, May 5th

Weave a Basket, Parkland College, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., $69

I’m always looking for new things to try, and basket weaving has never crossed my mind until now. At this weaving workshop, hosted by Bonnie Rideout, participants will get to weave their own basket from scratch. They will also learn various weaving techniques like twining, start/stop weaving, decreased weaving, and triple twining (I have no clue what these are, but they sound very impressive). The cost of the class includes all the materials for your own bee-themed basket and three hours of instruction. (LKG)

A close up image that has a black background and small brightly colored dots creating large bands of ring-like shapes.
Art of Science Event on Facebook

Learn about Efflorescence with the Institute of Genomic Biology, Cafeteria + Company, 4 to 8 p.m., free

The IGB’s Art of Science program will have their opening art reception at Cafeteria + Company to celebrate the common ground between art and science. These research images will be based on Efflorescence — the process of the budding and unfolding of blossoms — from the Art of Science program. These works are created by scientists working in partnership with current IGB artist Julia Pollack. There will be a wide panel of speakers such as BodyWork Associates President Doug Nelson, IGB Director Dr. Gene Robinson, Associate Professor of Plant Biology Dr. Surangi Punyasena, and Punyasena lab graduate student Scott Lakeram. Refreshments will be provided. (LKG)

See a classic ballet, Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $14-28

CU Ballet is presenting The Sleeping Beauty this weekend, with performances on Friday and Saturday. The level of talent among the young dancers is always amazing, and the costumes are breathtaking. You will probably recognize a lot of the music in this Tchiakovsky score. Tickets are available from the Virginia Theatre website. (JM)

Get out and rock with three Illinois bands, Loose Cobra, 8 p.m., $10 donation

Loose Cobra is bringing the heat (and the entertainment) three nights in a row this weekend. The second night features Neoga Blacksmith, playing rock and roll with a twangy, garage-dwelling sound, forged in the depths of caves and ditches of Illinois. Openers Dreamjacket and Primitive Lights may have been in a cave or ditch at one time or another as well. Don’t forget to fill that donation bucket with some cold, hard cash to show your appreciation. (DP)

Saturday, May 6th

A two-tiered shelf with pallets of herb seedlings. Each pallet has a small black sign with white chalk writing in front of it.
Alyssa Buckley

Go to the first Market at the Square of the season, Illinois and Vine Streets in Urbana, 7 a.m. to noon, free to wander but bring money for goods

It’s that time of year; time for outdoor markets! I just love strolling through the Urbana market on a Saturday morning. I get a little pastry, or maybe some breakfast tacos. Last summer I started treating myself to a little bouquet of flowers to make my kitchen look pretty. Then I grab some produce to incorporate in my dinners that week. The early markets won’t have an abundance of produce, but that’s okay, there are still plenty of good things to find. Check out the map and list of vendors for this week at the market website. Keep an eye out for Alyssa’s monthly Market Watch column for suggestions on what to look for. (JM)

Celebrate Free Comic Book Day, Urbana Free Library, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., free

It’s Free Comic Book Day, so head to UFL to get a free comic, play comic trivia, and do other comics-related activities. Not all comics are for children or about superheroes; poke around the library to find some you might like. Or, head to G Mart in Champaign to chat with the staff about some recommendations. I recommend Paper Girls. (JH) 

A pile of red and white paper fans with wooden handles are sitting on a table with a red tablecloth.
University of Illinois Japan House

Experience Matsuri, Japan House, noon to 9 p.m., free admission, but bring money for food and other activities

Matsuri is truly one of my favorite events in C-U. It brings campus and community together and melds a variety of Asian traditions into a delightful amalgamation of food, music, art, and more. This is the first time the festival will be happening since 2019, and I’m so glad it’s back. It’s going to be a beautiful day, so be sure to make time to head over. (JM)

A close up of the fire burger by Farren's Pub in Downtown Champaign.
Caitlin Aylmer

Get a fire burger, Farren’s Pub, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., $13

All the burgers at Farren’s Pub are made with beef from Old Time Meat & Deli. The fire burger is topped with jalapeños, red peppers, red onions, and ghost pepper cheese. Then, stay for Toast to Taylor Street’s live music that night just steps away from the restaurant. (AB)

Go all out on the Malört Fest pub-crawl, Downtown Champaign, 3:30 p.m., $6-$12

Do you like Malört? If you do, this Saturday’s Malört Fest is for you. Five Downtown Champaign bars will compete for the best Malört cocktail. If you want to vote, join the crowd. The crawl begins outside Brass Rail. Check out what drinks are in the competition here. (AB)

A shot of a crowded street at a festival in downtown Champaign, IL.
Toast to Taylor Street on Facebook

Go to the first Toast to Taylor Street Block Party of the season, Downtown Champaign, 4 p.m., free

The Toast to Taylor Street block party is a summer event featuring music, art, food, and drinks, with a diverse line-up of local and regional talent. There will also be a marketplace of art makers and a selection of food and drink vendors, including local and regional craft brewers. This is the 2023 Season Kickoff Celebration. Find the music lineup on the event page. (DP)

A collage of two side by side photos. In the left photo a woman sits on white stairs outside wearing a large white outfit that shields her face. In the right photo a model stands on the same stairs; she wears an extravagant purple yellow and red futuristic outfit.
Re-Fashioned on Facebook

Attend a sustainable fashion show, Siebel Center for Design, 6:30 p.m., free

The annual Siebel Center for Design Re-Fashioned show is such a great event we recently featured it in our Five things in arts list. The fashion show is an opportunity for University of Illinois fashion students to showcase garments they have created entirely from recycled or reclaimed materials. This celebration of creative and innovate fashion is a must-see event. (SSO)

Sunday, May 7th

Eight or so guitars stacked against a white wall. All but one guitar are in cases.
Community Center for the Arts on Facebook

Buy a cheap instrument, Community Center for the Arts, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., prices vary

Are you or your kids learning an instrument? Those things are expensive, so why not buy a used one? C4A will be hosting this sale with cheap instruments and more expensive ones available. (JH)

See an Italian film with live musical accompaniment, Spurlock Museum, 7 p.m., free

The 1911 silent film L’Inferno — loosely based on the first canticle of Dante’s Divine Comedy — will be screened at the Spurlock Museum, and will feature live accompaniment by pianist Stefano Maccagno and double bassist Furio Di Castri. This event is free, open to the public and will be followed by a reception. RSVPing is optional but appreciated. (SSO)

Three men with surgical masks on, looking into a mirror and trying to apply makeup to their faces and the masks.
Nonagon on Bandcamp

Check out Nonogon w/ Bristle, The Space, 7 p.m., $10 

The Space, Champaign’s new music venue and restaurant, will host a Sunday matinee show featuring power pop punk rock band Bristle and punk rock band Nonagon from Chicago. A third act is yet to be announced, and the event promises to offer rock, food, beer, and fun. (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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