Smile Politely

Weekender: October 20-22

An arial shot of flag twirlers standing in straight lines wearing the same blue pants and white and orange jackets and twirling their flags which are blurry
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Facebook

Friday, October 20th

Crispy battered pork belly has a sweet and sour glaze with thin ribbons of carrot and scallion as garnish.
Alyssa Buckley

Eat deep-fried pork belly drizzled with syrup, Northern Cuisine, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., $19.95

If you like bacon with syrup, you’ll love this Northern Chinese dish of crispy pork a sweet-and-sour glaze. Northern Cuisine’s B1 has thick slices of pork belly battered, deep-fried, and then drizzled with a from-scratch syrup. The breading has a crispy bacon texture with a sugar-soaked crust, and it was salty-sweet perfection. It was my favorite bite from my review this week of the Northern Cuisine in Campustown. (AB)

A bowl of matcha and a wagashi sweet are placed next to each other on a black tray. The tray is resting on a tatami mat at Japan House.
Japan House at the University of Illinois on Facebook

Stop by the Matcha Cafe, Japan House, 12 to 4 p.m., $12

In honor of U of I Homecoming, Japan House is hosting a special Matcha Cafe. You can have some matcha or a matcha latte, try a wagashi sweet, and browse their Mottainani Bazaar goods. You are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time, as capacity is limited. (JM)

Check out The Lavender Book Club, The Literary, 7 p.m., free

The monthly Lavender Book Club is happening this weekend, hosted by The Lavender, a queer Champaign-Urbana newsletter founded last year. They will be discussing Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America. If you haven’t read the book already, you probably won’t have time to finish it before tonight, but don’t fear: I’ve attended a few Literary book clubs without actually reading the book and it’s still a great time! Please note, masks are strongly encouraged at Lavender events. (SSO)

Saturday, October 21st

ballroom dance couple dances a waltz. The man is wearing a white shirt and black vest and bow tie. The woman is wearing a blue ballgown.
Kenny Qin; Illini Dancesport on Facebook

Attend a ballroom dance competition, Illini Union, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., free

Illini Dancesport is hosting the 32nd annual Illini Dancesport Invitational this weekend. The collegiate ballroom dance competition will be held in the Illini Union. Whether you are a dance enthusiast, or just a little curious and have a few free minutes, stop by and check out the competition—it’s likely unlike anything you have attended before. Spectating is free; just follow the feathers, glitter, and rhinestones. (SSO)

Cheer on the orange and blue, Memorial Stadium, Saturday, 2:30, tickets available

After a week of celebrating the University of Illinois, it all comes to a head with the Homecoming game against Wisconsin. The game will kick off at 2:30, it looks like the weather is going to cooperate, there will be plenty of tailgates, and even a few more events the next day to say goodbye to this annual celebration. Check out my interview with Ryan A. Ross to learn more about the history of U of I Homecoming. (LKG)

Enjoy live music and more for Illinois homecoming, Downtown Champaign, 6 p.m., free

Get into the Illini spirit at Downtown Champaign’s “Saturday Night Live,” a special Homecoming celebration filled with live music, art, and activities. The event unfolds on October 21st from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring two stages of local bands, immersive art installations, and plenty of Illini-themed fun. (DP)

On the bar, there is a half pint of lime leaf and mint kombucha by Cloud Mountain Kombucha for a mocktail making class. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Party at Lincoln Square Mall, Cloud Mountain Kombucha, 6 to 10 p.m., no cover but bring $ for drinks

This Saturday night, Cloud Mountain Kombucha is hosting a 2nd birthday party for the Lincoln Square bar. The kombuchery will be open late with a dance party featuring DJ Belly, cocktails by Katie Carrillo, and Cloud Mountain’s award-winning kombucha brews on tap, of course. (AB)

Enjoy a laser show set to Prince’s music, Staerkel Planetarium, 8:30 p.m., $12

Staerkel Planetarium is presenting a Prince laser show. Prince’s music is iconic and wonderful. Staerkel hasn’t done a music laser show in several years, so this will be an especially good time. Be sure to arrive early to get in line, as I bet this one sells out. Tickets are only available at the door. (JH)

Sunday, October 22nd

Thrift some stuff, Siebel Center for Design, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free

The Phoenix Thrifting Event will be held at the Siebel Design Center. There will be live entertainment and over 20 vendors all selling and trading vintage and second-hand clothes. The mission of Phoenix Branded is to make sustainable fashion and shopping more accessible to the community and campus. (LKG)

A pile of wooden game coins with different numbers on them.
CUDO Plays on Facebook

Learn to make stuff, C-U Fab Lab, 1 to 4 p.m., free

CUDO Plays is hosting a maker workshop at the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. You can learn to use the equipment to make different components to board games you’re developing or want to develop. Learn more on the CUDO Plays Facebook page. (JH)

Take some time to chill, Hatha Yoga and Fitness, 5:15 to 6 p.m., prices vary

Have you ever taken a restorative yoga class? I have a couple of times and it is quite luxurious. Hatha has a restorative class now on Sunday evenings, which is the perfect way to end a weekend and prepare yourself for the week ahead. You can drop in for $20, or there are class pack options available for purchase. You can sign up on their website. (JM)

A man sings into a mic holding a guitar. The photo is in black and white.
Anthony Gravino on Facebook

Celebrate a new album from a local legend, Rose Bowl Tavern, 7 p.m., $10 suggested cover

Acclaimed musician and producer Anthony Gravino marks the launch of his debut solo album, Music for 5 Year Olds, with a can’t-miss live performance backed by his band of mercenaries. Kick off the night with local legend Sass, who takes the stage at 7 p.m. (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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