Smile Politely

Weekender: August 19-21

Friday, August 19th

Spend some time at Friday Night Live, Downtown Champaign, 6 to 8 p.m., free

There are just two more Fridays left for Friday Night Live, and the weather is perfect for enjoying some live music from local musicians on the street of Downtown Champaign. My favorite spot to land is usually on Market Street between Pour Bros. and Seven Saints. You can pour some beer from the wall and wander out to hear the music. You can find the full line up of this Friday’s performers on the Friday Night Live Facebook page. (JM)

Several dance duos practicing Latin dance moves in a white walled dance studio with wood floor. Up front are two male instructors looking on.

Photo from the Urbana Dance Company Facebook page.

Dance your way into the weekend at the Latin Dance Extravaganza, Urbana Dance Company, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., $5-10

This joint effort between Dancing Illini, Cinnamon Dance Works, and Urbana Dance Company features a one-hour, all-levels Latin dance lesson followed by an open dance til midnight. Come back for more on Saturday and/or Sunday to join the Salsa and Bachata Workshop. Get more details here. (DD)

Light up your weekend, Immersion Festival, NOLA’s and Cohen Building, 8:30 p.m., free

Immersion Festival technically began on Thursday, but there are still two great events happening this weekend. The first one is Luma City happening at 8:30 p.m. on Friday at NOLA’s. The patio will be lit up with projections while live musicians and DJs provide the sounds. The second event is at the Cohen Building on Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. This will be an interactive sound gallery where you can get hands on with synthesizers, theremin, jam stations, and more. (SW)

Saturday, August 20th

View from the stage of an empty theater. The theater seats are red and upholstered. There are three sections, and they are positioned to be slightly curved toward the stage. Photo from the PACA Facebook page.

Photo from the PACA Facebook page.

Check out the PACA Back to School Garage Sale, 1302 Parkland Ct., Champaign, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free to attend

The Preservation and Conservation Association is holding a garage sale, with all sorts of interesting reclaimed items for sale. You’ll have a chance to buy seats from the Central High School theater, “wooden lockers from Rantoul, barn siding, historic roll-down maps, slate blackboards” and a bunch of other salvaged architectural items. (JH)

Peruse the Dark History and Horror Convention, I Hotel Conference Center, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., $25

This annual event is the place to be for anyone who is into horror, true crime, and the darker components of our history. You’ll find authors, artists, and experts in the field as well as numerous vendors and a film festival. General admission tickets are $25. If you want to attend both Friday and Saturday you can get a pass for $30. Find all of the details at the event website. (JM)

On a weathered wooden table, there are three different beers from Big Thorn Farm & Brewery. Photo by Xiaohui Zhang.

Photo by Xiaohui Zhang.

Sip draft beer, Big Thorn Farm, 12 to 9 p.m., $6

This Saturday, Big Thorn Farm and Brewery is turning six with an anniversay celebration. Celebrate with a special anniversary beer at the farm. There will be food from The Truck which Xiaohui reviewed earlier this year. There will be cupcakes, paintings, produce stands, pickled goods, and more. (AB)

Have date night at the Lake House Candlelight Serenade, Crystal Lake Park, 8:30-10 p.m., $10 per boat and $3 for patio-only seating

Head to the Crystal Lake Park boat house for an evening of music, boating, and food and drink featuring the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Must be 21+ to attend. Get advance tickets here. (DD)

Sunday, August 21st

A chef at Horsh Radish in Gibson City, Illinois holds a single pretzel with two cups of dips. Photo by Horsh Radish’s Facebook page.

Photo from Horsch Radish’s Facebook page.

Have a German pretzel, Horsch Radish, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., $9

This pretzel is served with Riggs beer cheese sauce, and it looks delicious. The new restaurant focuses on German-inspired farm-to-table cuisine and is located in Gibson City. Make your reservation here. (AB)

Check out Cirque Italia, Marketplace Mall, Champaign, 1:30 and 4:30 p.m., $40+ adults/$10+ bambini

Cirque Italia is presenting Water Circus I: Silver Unit, a pirate-themed acrobatic circus production, under a big top tent in the parking lot of Marketplace Mall. Tickets are a little pricey, but the promo photos and videos look pretty great. There’s a promo code on the Facebook event page for a free kid ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket. (JH)

Image of the outdoor patio at Rose Bowl Tavern, with string lights surrounding the tent, while onlookers sit at picnic tables and watch a performer.

Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook. 

Summer’s not over yet, Rose Bowl Tavern, 2 p.m., $10

Rose Bowl Tavern is hosting Summer’s Not Over Festival on Sunday. Starting at 2 p.m., a great lineup of bands will grace the outdoor stage at Rose Bowl. Bands include Kangaroo Court, Soft and Dumb, Ultraviolet, Telephone Junkies, Decapitation in the Food Court, and more. The music will go until roughly 9 p.m. (SW)

Top photo from Friday Night Live Facebook page.


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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