Smile Politely

Weekender: September 1-4

Two players in white jerseys and orange helmets are standing on the field facing the right side of the image. They are cheering with their arms around each other while celebrating. In the stands in the background are hundreds of fans wearing orange shirts.
David Craan

Friday, September 1st

Inside Encanto Restaurant and Bar, there is a mural with monarch butterflies and a feminine face with Day of the Dead makeup poking out of long leaves and purple flowers. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Eat lomo saltado, Encanto Restaurant, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., $15

The newest restaurant in C-U is Encanto in Downtown Urbana, and the menu is full of Mexican cuisine with a touch of Peruvian dishes. Those Peruvian dishes are what I’m after, to be honest. Go for the lomo saltado, which has sautéed beef with tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, fries, and a splash of soy sauce with steamed white rice. The dish is chifa cuisine, a Chinese product of Peru — and we lucky children of the corn can eat it right here in Urbana. Please be patient if you check it out this weekend. Encanto Restaurant and Bar is brand spanking new with a pretty big menu, and a new restaurant’s opening is always a little crazy. (AB)

Ride at sunset, Meadowbrook Park, 6:35 to 10:15 p.m., free, but bring money for ice cream treats

The Prairie Cycle Club is gathering in the Meadowbrook Park Race Street parking lot for a sunset ride to Sidney, where obviously the destination is Sidney Dairy Barn. The impending heat won’t be fully settled in yet, so it should be perfect weather for such an excursion. It’s a 22 mile ride, and all ages and bikes are welcome. Read up on all the details on their event page. (JM)

Saturday, September 2nd

a group of white people dressed in medieval clothing stand together looking at the camera. They are holding a large sign that says Society for Creative Anachronism Shire of Care Gwyn.
Midlands Academy of Defense on Facebook

Hone your swordplay skills, U of I Stock Pavillion, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., free

There will be a Midlands Academy of Defense: Friends, Fighting, and Swords for the great rapier game hosted by Caer Gwyn. You can try out classes, instructional drills, archery, and other opportunities all day. Around 6 p.m. there will also be a potluck dinner hosted by The Company of St Jude. Bring your own chairs, snacks, and water, but no alcohol as this is a dry event. (LKG)

On a summer afternoon, Champaign-Urbana people gather on the patio of Pour Bros. bar in Champaign. Photo by Pour Bros. on Facebook.
Pour Bros. on Facebook

Party in Downtown Champaign, Pour Bros., noon to 1 a.m., no cover but bring money for beer and tiki drinks

Pour Bros. is celebrating five years in Champaign with a big party this Saturday. There will be live music on the patio, the drop of the bar’s brand-new cocktail menu, and all the skee-ball we could want. If you don’t have Saturday plans, plan to party with Pour Bros. (AB)

Sharpen up your creative writing, Mahomet Public Library, 2 p.m., free

If you’ve been working on your writing and are now ready to take it to the next level, check out Mahomet Public Library’s adult creative writing workshop happening this Saturday. Participants can share their work and get feedback from fellow writers. The event is free but registration is required. (SSO)

Support the local indie scene and discover great new music, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 2 p.m., $10 to $25

Swing by Urbana for C-U Indie Day, a bustling nine hour extravaganza that puts the spotlight on our local indie art community. Featuring an eclectic lineup of 19 musical acts and a marketplace of one-of-a-kind artisan goods, the day promises a treasure trove of experiences for mingling with and backing our local talent. Whether you’re a fan of art, a music aficionado, or simply searching for a lively day out, seize this chance to enrich and give back to our local scene. (DP)

Kickoff the 2023 football season, Memorial Stadium, 6:30 p.m., ticket prices vary

The 2023 Illini football season starts on Saturday with a home game against Toledo. There are currently eight players represented on 15 national watch lists. And don’t forget, this year, you can get Watson’s Shack and Rail tenders, sammies, and slushes, at West Hall gate 14. The game will also be televised on the Big Ten network if you decide to stay at the tailgate instead of venturing into the stadium. (LKG)

A large group of dancers learn to swing dance inside of the illini union
Illini Swing Society on Facebook

Learn to swing dance, Illini Union, 8 p.m., free

Illini Swing Society is having their fall kickoff event this weekend. I recently attended one of their events at Hamilton Walker’s and had a blast (I loved it so much I returned the followed month and dragged along some friends). Students and community members are invited this weekend to a free one-hour swing lesson followed by a social dance. No experience or partner necessary, and you can show up at the door if the mood strikes. (SSO)

Sunday, September 3rd

A group of people on a stage, surrounding a large cylinder of cheese.
Experience Champaign-Urbana on Facebook

Immerse yourself in cheese, Downtown Arthur, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free admission but there will be things to buy

The annual Arthur Cheese Festival is happening Saturday through Monday. On this particular day you can witness some cheese carving, Saturday there will be a cheese eating contest and cheese curling championship, and Monday there will be a cheese curd spitting contest (I’m not feeling too sure about that last one). All of the days there will be vendors and activities of all sorts, and of course, free cheese. Find the full schedule on their website. (JM)

Catch some Illini women’s volleyball, Huff Hall, 1 p.m., $12 (get your tickets online)

The Fighting Illini take on Illinois State in this early season match. The volleyball team is always super fun to watch, and things move quickly, so something exciting is always about to happen. I’m always disappointed with myself for not going to more volleyball matches each season; don’t make my mistakes. It’ll be a nice Sunday afternoon outing. (JH)

Monday, September 4th

Two people walk down the street wearing rainbow wigs and rainbow flags around their shoulders. There are other people are visible wearing various pride flags.
The UP Center of Champaign County

Get yourself organized for this exciting month, your house, all weekend, prices vary

As the Editorial Board wrote last year, fall is the best time to be in Champaign-Urbana. In the next few weeks there are several fun festivals and events: Ellnora kicks off next weekend, PYGMALION is the 21st through 23rd, Deke Weaver’s CETACEAN is September 28th through October 1st, and CU Pride Fest is September 23rd through October 1st. There’s a lot happening. Many events are ticketed (though there are plenty of free activities), so take an hour to sit down, look at your calendar, contact your babysitter, round up your friends, get some dinner reservations. It’s going to be busy and exciting and really wonderful. (JH)

See one of the greatest living Klezmer band leaders, Rose Bowl Tavern, 2 p.m., no cover

Don’t miss the “LeBron James of Klezmer,” Michael Winograd, and his band, The Honorable Mentshn, as they bring their virtuosic take on klezmer music to the Rose Bowl this Labor Day. Presented by the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation and the CU Folk and Roots Festival, this free event encourages voluntary tips for the musicians and promises an enriching experience steeped in cultural preservation and musical mastery. (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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