Smile Politely

Weekender: August 23-25


Urbana Sweetcorn Fesitival, Downtown Urbana, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., free

There’s no better way to end the summer than to go to town on some hot, buttery corn on the cob. In it’s 38th year, this festival invites everyone to celebrate downtown Urbana and the corn that surrounds and sustains our community. This festival has 50,000 visitors, and festival organizer, the Urbana Business Association, mangages to put together an event that pleases all sorts of palettes. Ride your bike and you can earn free corn, or park your car in any one of these lots. The highlight of this event, is, of course, the corn, so get your corn bucks, get in line, and enjoy. (Dental floss is not provided.) (JH)

Blue Jasmine, The Art Theater Co-op, 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Hey, grown-ups. Want to see a movie with a great story, great acting, and some genuine laughs? Woody Allen’s new film, Blue Jasmine, opens Friday at the Art for a week’s run. Just how good is it? Here’s what Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers, possibly the crankiest film critic in the biz, had to say: “Want to see great acting, from comic to tragic and every electrifying stop in between? See Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Woody Allen, in rare form, puts Blanchett front and center in this hommage to Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, spinning hilarious but mostly harsh truths about love in the time of financial cholera.” (MG)

Wieners & Wine, Sleep Creek Winery, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

They build a fire. They provide hot dogs and the condiments. You buy the drinks (wine, slushy, sangria, beer, soda, bottled water…).  Since they are, after all a winery, only the alcohol purchased there can be consumed there, but it’s always okay if you want to bring additional food! Everything is conditional on weather, naturally, and seating and service are first come, first served. No reservations necessary or accepted. Feel free to bring along your own lawn chairs. Last call is at 7:45 PM, and they close promptly at 8:00 PM. (MG)

Opening Night at the Virginia Theatre, 5:30 p.m. (free ice cream social); 7:30-9:30 p.m. (stage performance from $10)

If you’ve been wondering what the inside of the newly refurbished Virginia Theatre looks like, you can take a peek during their opening night fundraiser event. Free ice cream and a string band performance are available outside starting at 5:30, and at 7:30 ticket-holders can enjoy a vaudeville-esque variety show featuring performers from across the community. Oh, and: there’s a cash bar. (RP)

Dibiase, Lightfoils, Wicked Walls, Mike ‘N Molly’s, $7, 8 p.m.

Pretty solid bill lined up tonight over at the always-wonderful Mike ‘N Molly’s beergarden. Honestly, it’s one of the best places to see a show in town over the Summer months, and even if there’s not a show there, it’s a great place to hang out. Earth Analog’s Dibiase brings their instrumental heaviness to Champaign, co-headlining this stellar show with Chicago’s shoegaze outfit Lightfoils. Not only that, but locals Wicked Walls are going to open things up. Lots to see at this one this weekend. (PS)


The Whigs, Hi Ho Buffalo, Cowboy Monkey, $5, 9:45 p.m.

The Whigs are on tour supporting their newest release entitled Enjoy the Company, which was recently released. The pricepoint of this show is pretty great, considering these guys are a fairly well-known nationally touring act that has been at it for a while. 

Their two previous albums are definitely worth checking out as well, their debut, which they really broke out onto the national rock scene with, and their follow up (and still decent) In the Dark.

They’ll be joined by locals Hi Ho Buffalo, who have made their mark on Cowboy Monkey a couple of times in the past few months. Big show for them, and a worthwhile show on Saturday night, no doubt. (PS)


Picnic in a Park, Champaign or Urbana, all day

The forecast for this weekend is sunny and dry, and what better way to spend your Sunday morning or afternoon than with snacks and sunshine? The entire campus area will be crazy, and I imagine the brunch wait across C-U will be lengthy. I suggest grabbing something to go – perhaps a sandwich from Cheese and Crackers in Champaign? They’re also selling gourmet sodas from the Homer Soda Company, and you can have an old fashioned picnic at any one of Champaign’s or Urbana’s parks. Maybe you’re an early riser, and would rather stop by Café Zojo for a light breakfast, or take your coffee to go as you stroll Meadowbrook. Check out our reviews section for other food & drink recommendations (including a recent review of Zojo). (JH)

The Last Dump & Run Sale of the year!

Through May and August of each year, the University YMCA collects reusable items from move out and spring cleaning weeks from student housing. 

Dump & Run successfully keeps six semi-trailers worth of unwanted goods out of Champaign-Urbana’s dumpsters and landfills each year, reduces litter and consumer waste, lowers dumping costs for certified housing and apartments, and provides inexpensive items for folks to purchase in the fall.

And it’s all for a good cause!

Dump & Run acts as a major fundraiser for the University YMCA!

Their BIG SALE is this weekend August 24th and 25th at the U of I Stock Pavilion.

Next year, make sure to look into volunteering. If you volunteer 6+ hours, you get first dibs during the August pre-sale. Sign up now to volunteer or to learn more by visiting the Dump & Run: Volunteer 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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