Smile Politely

Weekender: September 29-October 1

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.
Uniting Pride of Champaign County

Friday, September 29th

Alyssa Buckley

Drink some coffee, all over C-U, prices vary

National Coffee Day is September 29th, so this Friday get your coffee on. Check out this list of five Champaign-Urbana coffee drinks and desserts, this mocha list, or this list of nitro coffees for inspiration. Grab some fall flavors from Columbia Street Roastery, or head out to grab a cup. There’s no shortage of coffee shops in town. Some of my favorites include Avionics drip coffee (by Page Roasting Company), Espresso Royale bourbon barrel Americano, Art Mart cold brew, Dubai Grill’s Turkish coffee, and BrewLab oatmeal cookie latte. (AB)

Celebrate Pride, various locations, free

Uniting Pride of Champaign County is hosting their annual Pride Fest and the whole weekend is packed with things to do. If you have kids you can take them to the Youth & Family Pride Party. if you like the outdoors, there’s a nature hike or the parade, and if you’re looking to stay up late you can head to Queer Homecoming or catch the Drag Extravaganza. There are so many amazing things to do and you can see the full line up on their website. (LKG)

The stock pavilion is empty with light shining onto the arena floor. A dancer, barely visible, warms up near the railings.
Fred Zwicky

Witness the latest installment of The Unreliable Bestiary, The Stock Pavilion, 7:30 p.m., free

I’ve already written extensively about CETACEAN in my Five things in arts and in my interview with co-directors Deke Weaver and Jennifer Allen. This is the sixth installment in Weaver’s life-long project to create a performance representing a threatened animal or habitat for every letter of the alphabet. The event is free, and tickets are unnecessary, but Weaver and Allen did suggest viewers bring a comfortable cushion for the nearly three-hour event. If you can’t make it Friday, there are additional performances Saturday through Monday. (SSO).

The image is a black and white photo of three people standing in a dark alley. The person in the center is wearing a suit and tie, while the other two are wearing jackets. The background consists of a concrete wall and a puddle on the ground. The photo has a dark and moody tone.
Terminus Victor on Facebook

Hear some new stuff from a local favorite, Loose Cobra, 8 p.m., $10

Terminus Victor will be showcasing new music from their upcoming album. Supporting will be Chicago’s Vaudevileins and Another Heaven from Minneapolis. (DP)

Get snotty with four area punk bands, Community Center 4 the Arts, 8 p.m., $10

This all-ages punk rock show features local bands Unseen Forces, Eat My Jorts, Safety Always Off, and Dumbed Down. (DP)

Saturday, September 30th

Celebrate 150 years of the YMCA, Laser Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., free

The University YMCA is celebrating their 150th birthday with a huge party. There will be guest speakers like State Representative Carol Ammons and State Senator Paul Faraci, music, food, and the opening of a 116 year old time capsule. You can read my interview with director Marc Alexander to learn more about the past and present of the Y and what he is looking forward to on Saturday and beyond. (LKG)

Close up of the face of a barn owl. It has a white face and black eyes, with brown feathers along its back.
Illinois Raptor Center

See live birds of prey, Middle Fork River Forest Preserve Activity Center, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., free

The Illinois Raptor Center will be bringing hawks, falcons, owls, and a surprise bird guest to Middle Fork to showcase for Raptors 101. Learn about these stunning birds, then maybe check out the trails at the forest preserve. The event is open to all ages. (JM)

Attend the Soul Food Family Festival, Vineyard Church, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

DREAAM’s Soul Food Family Festival is a free event with games, a Children’s Village, music, and more. There will also be food for purchase by C-U’s Neil St. Blues, Sugga Shaii’s Sweets, RiPoppedIt, and more. Plus music performances by Laquisha Burries-Finn, Audrey Mock, Pilgrim Baptist Church Praise Dancers, and Steve Davis and Spirit. (AB)

A clear beer stein filled with a dark amber colored lager and a head of foam sits on a table with a blue and white patterened tablecloth.
Alyssa Buckley

Prost! at Oktoberfest, Downtown Champaign, 3 to 10 p.m., $10/entry plus cost of food and drink

CU Oktoberfest, the annual fundraiser for DSC, turns ten this year. Oktoberfest is always a hoot: there are people in lederhosen and dirndl, you can eat pretzels and drink beer, and listen to polka. Watson’s and Smith Burger will be on hand dishing out yummy food. Skip the lines and get your tickets ahead of time. Prost! (JH)

Sunday, October 1st

A street is lined with white tents filled with artwork, and a crowd of people is milling about.
Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau on Facebook

Check out a long running arts festival, Uptown Normal, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free to attend but bring money for food and purchases

The Sugar Creek Arts Festival began in 1983, and is now an event that brings thousands of people to the streets of Uptown Normal to see the work of a multitude of artists. There will be food, live music, and of course art to peruse and possibly purchase for your collection. See the festival map, schedule of performers, and list of participating artists at the festival website.

Play some music trivia, Pour Bros., 2 to 4 p.m., free 

Every Sunday Pour Bros. hosts music trivia, and it’s free to play. You should definitely buy some beer, though, because surely this game will be more fun with friends, a little booze, and maybe a Jupiter’s pizza. (JH)

Actresses wearing school uniforms sit on the floor of the stage. Lady Macbeth is in the center with the three witches surrounding her as she gives a passionate monologue. The set looks like an abandoned lot, with a dirty old couch and garbage everywhere.
Serenity Stanton Orengo

See a Shakespeare adaptation, Parkland Theatre, 3 p.m., $15-20

Parkland’s theatre season is opening this weekend with a retelling of Shakespeare’s MacBeth. Mac Beth follows seven student from an all-girls prep school as they attempt to stage their own MacBeth in an abandoned lot. The play is a “a slick, brash, youthful, and streamlined (90 minutes, no intermission) telling that shines a light on the ferocity of adolescence, as well as the seemingly ubiquitous violence in America’s school culture.” Opening night on Thursday sold out, so get your tickets early if you want to catch this one. (SSO)

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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