Smile Politely

Weekender: June 23-25

FRIDAY, June 23rd

Friday Night Live, Downtown Champaign, 6 p.m., free

Another promsing Friday Night Live in downtown Champaign. This Friday take in sounds ranging from the Big Bluestem String Band to Sixth Street Brass. a Guaranteed good time for the entire family, just make sure to stop by each corn (Walnut & Chester, Neil & Park, and Neil & Church). (RG)




CUTC’s HairsprayParkland College’s Miner Theatre, 7 p.m., $15 or less

CUTC is bringing John Waters’ runaway hit to Champaign, and by all accounts, it’s delightful. The annual youth production always includes a message of inclusion, and Hairspray takes on one of the most important issues of all: being from Baltimore. Oh no, it’s just racial integration, self-love, and confidence above all else. People are people, people — go hear some kids sing about it. (RK) 

Logan NoirThe Art Theater, 10 pm, $5

If you missed Logan when it hit theaters, or if you want to see a new take on the Wolverine-based film, check out The Art Theater this Friday (and Saturday) as they show a special, black-and-white version of Logan, aptly titled Logan Noir. (BH)

SATURDAY, June 24th

Lavendar U-Pick FestivalTwin Silos Farm, Monticello, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $5-7

I. Love. Lavendar. I’m slightly obsessed with it. So imagine my delight at realizing we have a lavendar farm just down the road in Monticello! This weekend is the 2nd Annual Lavendar U-Pick festival at Twin Silos Farm. They are open for picking both Saturday and Sunday, but Saturday offers a bonus “bee presentation” at 2 p.m. You can pick a small bundle for $5 or a large one for $7, and there will be gelato from Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery made with Twin Silos honey and lavendar. Check their event page for directions. (JEM)

Spalding Skate Park summer kickoff900 N. Harris Ave., Champaign, noon-2 p.m., FREE

Local artists will be painting murals at Spalding Park’s skate area to celebrate good weather and to make the environment more attractive. Artists are invited to paint; non-artists are invited to watch. Bring a picnic lunch, grab something from the Pop Stop, and grab some pollinator plants for free. Oh and I hear there will be a bouncy castle — which requires much less skill and is much less injurious than a kick-flip. There, I’ve used my one skateboard term. (RK)

Beer and Bags Tournament, Seven Saints, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., $10 to enter

If you fancy yourself a prolific bags player, especially if your game improves with each beer you drink, then sign up to participate in the beer and bags tournament hosted by Triptych and Seven Saints this Saturday. As players go head to head in bags, Triptytch’s beers will be going head to head with Stone Brewing Co. You can register for the tournament at the Triptych Tap Room, and the $10 registration fee will be donated to the Champaign County Humane Society. The winner of the tournament will get a custom set of boards. And of course the glory of being Bags Champion of the World. (JM)

Give a Little: Benefit for the UP Center, Exile on Main Street, 12 p.m., suggested $5 donation.

From noon to 5 PM Exile and Dandelion will contribute 10% of their sales to the benefit, making this a great time to stop putting off your vinyl/thrift store needs.

Music will be performed by acts such as Isaac Arms, Bardo, Kenna Mae, and more. Along with poetry from e. majerus and Elissa Mullins.

If any of the above strikes your fancy, or you’re just looking to support a good cause or have a good time, stop on by. (RMG)



SUNDAY, June 25th

Ice Cream Social, Common Ground Food Co-op, noon to 3 p.m., about $5 per person

Common Ground’s annual fundraiser for the Eastern Illinois Food Bank features plenty of ice cream and gelato, lots of sprinkles, and three hours of family-friendly entertainment. All proceeds go to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank; this year’s goal is to meet donations for 10,000 meals. It’s all for a good cause, and you get to eat some ice cream, too. Bring the entire family, get faces painted, listen to music, have an ice-cream lunch, make some donations. More info is available on Facebook. (JH)

Learn to make kombucha, Delight Flower Farm (4410 N Lincoln Ave, Champaign), 4 to 5:30 p.m., $20

Have you ever had kombucha? It seems like it’s one of those things you either love or hate. If you’re in the love camp, buying it is expensive. At nearly $4 a bottle, you might as well learn to make your own and save some money. Participants in the class will learn to make their own kombucha, and you’ll take home your own scoby, the gooey-slimey stuff that makes the kombucha and serves as the starter for the fermented beverage. Tickets are available here. Photo from Facebook. (JH)  

Backpacks, Parachute Day, Dingus, Plans, Cardboard Hilltop, Blips + Chitz, 7 pm

It’s a Sunday night, and you just can’t quite give up the weekend – that’s fine, instead, hop on over to Champaign-Urbana’s favorite DIY venue for some of the best band names I’ve seen on a bill together in some time. Someone finally named their band “Dingus” and that alone is reason to see them, right? (BH)


Crane Alley Crawfish Boil; Sneak Peak Opening of Blackbird, Crane Alley + Blackbird, 11 am

There’s no doubt that in a community like ours, plenty of options abound for fun and interesting food / drink events. Crane Alley’s annual Crawfish Boil is a headliner as far as I am concerned. And while the ticket price isn’t what most folks would consider to be “cheap” — what you get is all-you-can-eat crawfish, corn, andouille sausage, potatoes, and more. Plus, a beer truck pouring Half Acre brews all day. 

But wait, there’s more! Across from the restaurant’s namesake alley, Blackbird, a new bar opened by Scott Glassman of Crane Alley and Ian Goldberg of Canopy Club, will be making its debut in a “secret” first look on this night as well. And just check out that dope branding they decided on. Thumbs up from this design elitist right here. Nice work. 

Sorry Goldberg, secret is out. (SF)


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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