Smile Politely

Weekender: March 24-26

FRIDAY, March 24th

Visit a park, anywhere in Champaign-Urbana, all weekend, free

The first day of spring was earlier this week, and if the weather cooperates, it should be in the 50s-60s this weekend in C-U. Plan a visit to a park, perhaps one you have been to, or try a new one. Check out Urbana Park District and Champaign Park District to scope something out. Don’t overthink it, just go — and enjoy. Disconnect a bit. Photo from Urbana Park District’s Instagram(PS)


Concert and workshop with Mother Nature, Independent Media Center, 6 p.m., free (Student showcase is Sunday, at 2 p.m.)

IMC is bringing yet another great event as part of their Open Scene project. The Miseducation of Hip Hop: MVMNT is a workshop, concert, and showcase hosted by C-U hip-hop powerhouse Mother Nature. Participants will be invited to use their knowledge of hip-hop to create a unique piece of art. Friday will be the initial session and Sunday will be the chance for students of the class to showcase their work. Check out the event page for more information. (JTM)

Art gallery reception, Common Ground Food Co-op, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Have you ever seen those sketches around Urbana of artists at the Iron Post? How about the sketches in Flying Machine Coffee? Well, that artist is having a showing today at Common Ground. Meet Chris Evans (and Steve Schaberg) and say hello to the person documenting our beautifully average evenings at bars and mornings and coffee shops. (SL)

Watch a carnivorous mermaid movie,  The Art, 9 p.m., $9.75

Check out this trailer for The Lure which is a polish film about two mermaids who go on land to explore. They end up conquering the polish nightlife and eating plenty of misbehaving men along the way. Dive into this film this weekend. (SL)

Unfamiliar Vibez (Debut Show), 9 p.m., Memphis on Main St., 19+

Featuring Cii La’Cole and Crofton Coleman on vocals, the debut show from Unfamiliar Vibez, a local “super-group” of sorts, is definitely not to be missed. Plus it’s always fun to check out new local bands who we may see more of soon. (BH)

SATURDAY, March 25th

Eat some nuts, The Last Call, 105 Main Street, Penfield, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., prices vary

Here’s a chance to have your cake and eat it too, or something like that. The Last Call in Penfield is hosting a Mountain Oyster Fry, and you’re invited. I’m think almost anything is edible after it’s been fried, and surely testicles are no different. I’ve never had mountain oysters, but I’m willing to bet they taste like chicken. If you’re into them, or looking for an adventure, make the trip to Penfield. Photo from Facebook (JH)

Marching in March for Peace, Hazel Park, 1 p.m.

Lend your voice against gun violence by showing up for a march and rally this Saturday. The march will begin at 1:30 at Hazel Park, and will end at King Park. An End Gun Violence Rally will begin at 3:00 and feature local politicans and activists: State Rep. Carol Ammons, Alderman Aaron Ammons, Violence Interrupters Executive Director Tio Hardimon, CU Moms Demand Action, Michael DeArmond, and more. There will also be food, music, and performances

Make pizza and bread dough, Common Ground Food Co-op, 2 to 4 p.m., $10/$15

Dave Saam, owner of Dragon Fire Pizza, will be leading this class about the basics of basic bread and pizza dough. In my opinion, homemade pizza is delicious, and an easy go-to on nights you don’t feel like cooking as well as when you’re looking to impress some guests. And have you had Dragon Fire Pizza? That pizza is delish. Register for the class here. Photo by Jessica Hammie (JH)

Matthew Curry, The City Center, 8 p.m., $10

The standard fare for music at The City Center is not my cup of tea. Matthew Curry, however, is atypical for the venue. The Bloomington native has been playing guitar since elementary school, and he’s honed his craft quite well over that time. Curry is a blues and rock and roll musician who is only 21, but has toured alongside the likes of The Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, and The Steve Miller Band. Catch someone different at The City Center, and do it before he blows up big. (JTM)

Sleep Deprivation Chamber, Station Theatre, Urbana, 8 p.m., $15

There is a lot of music going on this weekend, but C-U also shines in the realm of the theatre. I haven’t seen it yet, but I feel excited at the prospect of a socially-conscious and -relevant modern work directed by Latrelle Bright. Spend a couple hours engrossed in the drama of police and minority…relations, and one woman’s fight for justice from justice. (RK)

Condor + Jaybird, Kowabunga! Kid, Bookmobile!, Attic Salt, Blips and Chitz, 9 p.m., $5

Condor and Jaybird are arguably the best thing coming out of northwest Illinois/Iowa right now, and this Saturday they’ll be making a stop at coveted house venue spot Blits and Chitz. Joined by locals Kowabunga! Kid and Bookmobile!, the sheer amount of exclamation points in these bands’ names alone should be reason to go. (BH)

SUNDAY, March 26th

Cultural Celebration Performance Series, Spurlock Museum, 1-1:45pm, free ($3 donation suggested for museum entry)

This series explores the rich cultural traditions that can be found right here in our community. The March installment features a performance by the local band Samba Soul. They have a broad and flexible repertoire of music including classical Brazilian Jazz, Samba, and Bossa Nova. Arrive early or stay late to browse the museum exhibits. Sunday hours are 12-4pm. (Photo from Facebook). (JEM)

We the AnimalsChampaign Public Library, 2 p.m., FREE

While “dark indie” rockers We the Animals are perfect for an occluded bar late on a Saturday, their sound will be filling an unusual venue this weekend. Head to the large community room in CPL to get an earful of these local talents for free. (RK)

Apply to the Made Fest, anytime, price varies

The Made Fest, Pygmalion Festival’s craft fair component, has opened vendor applications for 2017. Perhaps you’re interested in participating as a vendor this year? Well, now is your chance. The app period is open for about 6 weeks, but maybe you can knock it out early. Photo by Sam Logan. (PS)


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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