Smile Politely

Weekender: April 20-22

FRIDAY, April 20

Ebertfest , Virginia Theater, all weekend, $15/individual screening

The 20th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival is this weekend! Check out our full preview to see what films will be screened and who is joining the post-film discussion. There are lots of amazing guests this year, including Ava DuVernay, Julie Dash, and Amma Asante. They’ve also just added a musical performance by Pure Fe to Sunday’s closing event. Full festival passes can be a little pricey, but individual screening tickets are just $15—so you can still get in on the action!  (KF) 

Celebrate 4/20 with…beer, Barrelhouse 34, 4:20 to 9 p.m., prices vary

Triptych and White Oak Brewing (of Bloomington-Normal) are teaming up for Hazed and Infused, and will be sharing some “hazy” beers with you. Triptych is bringing out Dank Meme, Dirty Hippy (my personal favorite), and Smoke Me Out, and White Oak will be serving up Me Llama Llama, I Wouldn’t Worry About That Little Guy, and These Schozberries Taste Like Schnozberries. I’d sample that last one merely because of the name. The brewers will be on hand to talk beer. (JM)

Attend a six-course wine dinner, The WheelHouse, St. Joseph, 6 to 10 p.m., $50 meal only, $80 with wine pairings

The WheelHouse’s first tasting menu of 2018 will feature Spanish wine pairings. The restaurant’s cuisine is “New American,” which, in the best cases, means (literally) fresh takes on American standards. WheelHouse has proven that they can, indeed, deliver on this premise — the food is great. (Read about it here and here). You’ll need to make a reservation for this special dinner; call 217-469-6252, or send them a message on Facebook. (JH) Photo by Jess Hammie

SATURDAY, April 21

Record Store Day 2018, various locations, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

The time has come to support your local brick-and-mortar record store — Record Store Day 2018 is on Saturday. Sure, you should buy records all throughout the year, but here’s your chance to catch up if you’ve been slacking lately. I put together a guide to Record Store Day, which features information about what to expect at Exile on Main Street, Record Swap, See You CD + Vinyl, and more. (PS) Photo by Patrick Singer

Shred some stuff, U of I Credit Union, 10 a.m to 2 p.m., free

Time to gather up all of those bills, tax documents, and receipts from 10 years ago, as well as any other secret and shady stuff you have in paper form piling up around the house and feed it to the giant shredder. These opportunities are few and far between, so take advantage and bring the kids; they’ll have inflatables, food trucks, bubble, and Touch-a-Truck (JM)

Drink beer, 2nd Annual Mahomet Craft Beer Fest, 2 to 6 p.m., free entry, $1/ticket

The 2nd Annual Mahomet Craft Beer Festival takes place in Downtown Mahomet, and will feature 25+ craft beer/hard cider vendors, plus wine from Alto Vineyards. For those who avoid alcohol, there will be soda from the Homer Soda Company. Chester’s BBQ will be on hand, too. You can read up on last year’s event here. (JH)  


Opening Reception for 2018 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition, Krannert Art Museum Main Level, 5 p.m., free

Attend the opening night reception for an exhibition featuring works from the 2018 School of Art + Design Master of Fine Arts class. This exhibition “represents the culmination of intense artistic development for graduate students in studio art and design.” It will feature works by students who have studied graphic design, industrial design, metals, and studio art, and the reception will have a (cash only) wine bar, so you can have a drink while you wander through the works. (KF) Photo from KAM website

V.V. Lightbody, Ryan Groff, Minor Moon, Mporium, donation suggested, 8:30 p.m.

Vivian McConnell (of Grandkids, Santah) has her project V.V. Lightbody moving full steam ahead in 2018. Her new record, Bathing Peach, arrives in June, and you can stream the first track over at her Bandcamp. She’s performing on Saturday night with Elsinore’s Ryan Groff and Minor Moon at one of the cooler new spots to see a show in C-U, Mporium. (PS) 

SUNDAY, April 22

Go take care of the Earth, anywhere, anytime, free

It’s Earth Day, the day where we celebrate our planet and examine what we are doing to either help or harm it. Why not take this opportunity to get out there and do something to make a difference? Walk your neighborhood and pick up trash (and recyclable materials). Prep your garden for planting local veggies and herbs; there are several plant sales coming up soon at places like Common Ground and the C-U Herb Society. Look into planting a Pollinator Pocket with info from U of I Extension. Take a hike through Busey Woods or Meadowbrook Park. Purchase a bus pass from MTD and resolve use the bus more and your car less. Better yet, dust off your bike and swing by Neutral Cycle for a tune up. They have open hours from 12 to 4 on Sundays. (JM) Photo by Patrick Singer

Pressure Fit, Melvin Knight and the Amber Sky, The Iron Post, cover, 7 p.m.

Reginald Chapman’s Pressure Fit was an outfit I highlighted recently, and they are performing on Sunday with the very talented Melvin Knight. Knight and the Amber Sky just released a new music video as well, so check that one out, and head here for a nice Sunday show. (PS) 

Cover photo from


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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