Smile Politely

Weekender: October 27-29

Crop view of a skeleton in a coffin, viewed from the shoulders up. The skull rests on red tissue paper, and is holding an invite for the Odd Market on October 28th.
Tuscola Odd Market on Facebook

Friday, October 27th

Three beers in plastic cups on a wood table. The left beer is a golden yellow; the middle beer is a pale yelllow; the right beer is a dark brown-black stout or porter.
Yubo (Arthur) Zou

Drink some beer at Froth Fest, Big Thorn Farm & Brewery, 3 to 9 p.m., prices vary

Big Thorn is hosting Froth Fest, a celebration of Illinois beer, all weekend (Saturday noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.). There will be 50+ beers on tap, plus food, as well as a lively atmosphere of fire pits and autumnal views and vibes. (JH)

See the award-winning musical Rent, Virginia Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $10-35

Krannert Center at the Virginia is staging the wildly popular Rent for one weekend only. The musical follows a year in the lives of young artists and promises to be “full of song, sex, and celebration.” For a behind the scenes look, you can read my interview with music director Justin Brauer. If you can’t make it Friday, or one showing isn’t enough, you can catch it Saturday night as well. (SSO)

A group of individuals are on a stage, each donned in black robes with white collars. Some hold black folders. A piano is positioned in front of them, and a conductor stands to the side.
U of I Black Chorus on Facebook

Celebrate African American choral traditions, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m, $4-$10

Experience a musical crescendo at the Closing Concert of the Lift Every Voice Conducting Symposium at the University of Illinois, where all university choruses will unite in harmony. This culminating event, part of a notable mentoring initiative for young conductors of color, will echo the vibrancy and talent nurtured through intensive workshops with seasoned conductor-teachers. The finale, a stirring rendition of “Lift Ev’ry Voice” under the baton of conductor Andre Thomas, is set to leave a lasting resonance, showcasing the promise of diversity in the choral conducting realm. (DP)

Saturday, October 28th

A man stands behind a table at small press fest showing his products to attendees.
Small Press Fest on Facebook

Check out the Small Press Fest, Lincoln Square Mall, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

The Small Press Fest, which I featured in Five things in arts this month, will feature more than 40 artists and vendors. The event is a yearly celebration of small press publications and DIY artists from Champaign Urbana. While there are multiple events as part of the fest, the expo at Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday is the main draw. (SSO)

Stop by the Disability Resource Expo, Market Place Mall, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

The Disability Resource Expo “promotes inclusion by helping provide a better quality of life for people with disabilities in Champaign County and surrounding communities.” It’s a family friendly and accessible event, that will feature a wide variety of vendors and organizations there will resources for people with disabilities. Costumes are encouraged, and there will even be a contest! (JM)

Check out the Tuscola Odd Market, Tuscola Community Building, noon to 5 p.m., free, but bring money to buy stuff

The Tuscola Odd Market returns with craft, art, and vintage vendors. This year you can also find a little reptile zoo. Additionally, there will be the Odd Market Masquerade Ball at 7 p.m. (tickets $10), so if that sounds fun to you, put on your best costume. (JH)

A Black man is holding a microphone and appears to be rapping into it in a dark room. They are dressed in a black jacket. In the distance, colorful lights can be seen.
Herm Everlasting

Discover local hip-hop talent, Gallery Art Bar, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation

Join the hip-hop and digital art fusion at Gallery Art Bar featuring local artists like Trouble Chasin’, AMS, and Herm Everlasting. With visuals by Harsh.Pro, beats by DJ Belly, and a $10 suggested donation at the door, immerse in Urbana’s lively music scene while enjoying local drinks and BakeLab treats. (DP)

Go to a Halloween party in Downtown Champaign, Neil St. Blues, 10 p.m., $10 cover before 11 p.m.

Check out Neil St. Blues’ Halloween party with music by DJ Silkee and DJ Slim. The Downtown Champaign spot will have a special Halloween cocktail for the night, and the kitchen will be open late serving delicious Southern cuisine including the restaurant’s delicious fried chicken. Doors open at 10 p.m. with a $10 cover, and at 11 p.m., it’s free to enter. (AB)

Sunday, October 29th

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

Eat gelato with goats in costume, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, 1 to 4 p.m., bring money for food

Head on down to Champaign’s goat farm for a little Halloween fun with Prairie Fruit Farm & Creamery’s goats. They’ll be dressed in costume, so everyone is encouraged to come in costume. Eat the farm’s gelato (the pistachio is my favorite) or snack on a cheese board. There will be hay rides, pumpkin decorating, and other farm fun, too. (AB)

A group of people in coats stand on a sidewalk on a grey day. In the middle of the picture is a black umbrella which has "Black Lives Matter Respect Existence or Expect Resistance" written in white letters on it.
Sam Logan

March for Black lives, Champaign County courthouse, 1 p.m., free

The CU branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation is holding a rally to call on State’s Attorney Julia Rietz to hold Rantoul police officers responsible for the recent killing of two young black men (you can read more from Brian Dolinar here and here) and to protest the Champaign County justice system. The protest will be made up of family members, concerned residents, and community organizers hoping to make their demands heard. (LKG)

Join the coven, 25 O’clock Brewing, 3:30 p.m, free

Put on your best witch outfit or costume and take a slow three mile bike loop for the Urbana Witches Ride. The biking group will meet up with a Halloween walking parade then head over to the Rose Bowl Tavern. The group is raising awareness for Urbana-Champaign Reproductive Justice. If you don’t want to ride, you can meet up with the group at the Rose Bowl around 4:30. (LKG)

Screenshot from Beetlejuice, with the title character standing alongside Winona Ryder, with spiked black hair and a red dress.
Normal Theater on Facebook

See a Halloween classic at a classic theater, Normal Theater, 7 p.m., $5-$7 plus concessions money

October is coming to an end soon, and so will the Normal Theater’s spooky movie season. They are playing one of my favorites, Beetlejuice, on Sunday. Can’t make it then? Catch The Addams Family earlier in the day, or Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday or Saturday. Find the remaining show times, and grab tickets, on their website. (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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