Smile Politely

Weekender: November 8-10

Friday, November 8th

Make use of your Halloween jack-o-lanterns, your home/anywhere, all weekend, free

With Halloween now well behind us, it may be time to finally get rid of that rotting jack-o-lantern gracing your front porch. Instead of simply throwing your pumpkin in the trash, here are a few simple way you can get a bit more use out of the organic material. (SP)

  • Add it to your compost pile
  • Bury it in your garden for rich soil
  • Turn it into a planter if not rotting (put burlap sack or pot into pumpkin)
  • Drop it off in a natural area for squirrels/other animals to eat
  • Smash ‘em!

Photo by Steven Pratten

Stock up on some jewelry, The Idea Store, 12 to 6 p.m., prices vary

Shop the popular Jewelry Jackpot sale at The Idea Store this weekend. The store is filling a room with all kinds of jewelry, from plastic to precious metals as well as components for jewelry making. The sale runs through Sunday, and they will restock each day so there will be lots of new treasures to find. (JM) Top Photo by Melinda Edwards

Give some love to the outstanding, award-winning artists being honored at this year’s 40 North ACE Awards, The City Center, 5:30 p.m., $10

I listed this in November’s don’t-miss arts events and I’m saying it again here: show up and help support the artists, teachers, arts-related businesses, and volunteers that continue to breathe energy and creativity into our local arts scene. It’s a great party and an even better cause. You’ll leave inspired and grateful and maybe ready to make some art of your own. Find out more about this year’s winners here. (DD) Photo from the Facebook event page

Watch the night light up, Sunset Memorial Park, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

Sunset Funeral Home in Danville is hosting an inaugural event around an attraction that has caught several admiring eyes over the years. Each holiday season, the group lights up the “Swan Pond” in Sunset Memorial Park with an array of lights and trees. Photos with Santa and cookies/hot chocolate will be available for free. (SP)

Saturday, November 9th

Order your Thanksgiving turkey, your favorite grocer, all weekend, prices vary

Did you catch my reminder this week about getting your Thanksgiving stuff in order? If you haven’t made a plan yet, tick tock! Most turkey orders are due in the next few days, so look around, compare size and price, and figure out what you need. (JH) Photo by Seth Fein

Shop for local arts and crafts at the Craft League of CU’s art fair, Savoy Recreation Center, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free admission, bring $ to shop

This year’s Craft League of Champaign-Urbana’s art fair, to be held for first time at the Savoy Recreation Center (402 W Graham Dr.), will feature some of Smile Politely’s favorite makers, including Lisa Kesler, Lydia Puddicombe, Jill Miller (Hooey Batiks), Red Ember Forge Jewelry, along with many others. Get the full list here. I can’t think of a better way to start your holiday shopping than with handmade work from local artists. The fair will also be open Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (DD) 

Explore the aural and visual reflections on notions of Asian culture and identity with the Kuroshio Quartet, Krannert Art Museum, 2 to 3: 15 p.m., free

This unique multi-disciplinary quartet takes on some significant issues and this performance, created in response to the recent Hot Spots exhibition, currently showing at KAM, is no exception. The Kuroshio Quartet “features Joy Yang (theremin, keyboards), Allen Wu (LinnStrument), Jason Finkelman (percussion, laptop electronics) and Michael Koerner (chemical visualizations), all improvising artists of Asian descent. Kuroshio’s Fall 2019 performances are meditations on the legacy of the use of nuclear weapons, directly addressing Koerner’s artistic expression as a surviving child of parents exposed to nuclear radiation at both Nagasaki and Castle Bravo testing.” And while you’re there, congratulate Jason Finkelman on the 40 North ACE Award he’ll have received the night before. (DD) Image from Facebook event page

Find a new-to-you beer or brewery, Triptych, Blind Pig, other regional breweries, all weekend, prices vary

We have quite a bit of locally made beer right here in C-U, plus plenty more a short drive away. Why not spend Saturday afternoon doing a (safe and reasonable) tour? Start off one place, have some food, head to another. For inspiration, check out our Thirsty Around Town and Travel categories. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Celebrate Diwali, Garden Hotel Urbana, 5 to 9:30 p.m., $25-30

The Urbana Champaign Indian Cultural Society is hosting their annual Diwali celebration. Your ticket includes appetizers and a catered dinner and entertainment by local Indian music and dance groups. There will also be a cash bar. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and Annapoorna Stores or Bombay Market. (JM)

See the Urbana High School production of The Theory of Relativity, 7 p.m., tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults

Based on a series of interviews with teens and young adults about the challenges they face exploring issues of love, identity, and acceptance, this musical promises a moving night of theatre for young people and adults alike. I hope some of you will consider this as a family outing as it is likely to shed much light and perhaps even spark important conversations. Additional 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday. (DD) Image from Facebook event page

Hear some local music and maybe purchase a record or two, Exile on Main, 6 to 8:30 p.m., free

Local musicians Smoke in Space will be playing an early show at Exile on Main on Saturday. The venue recently announced that artists Gatson and Justin Rodón will be joining the ticket. Check out a Splog we did on Smoke in Space’s recent video release featuring KD. (BH) Photo from the event Facebook event.

Sunday, November 10th

Check out the Indonesian Food Festival at UIUC, University YMCA, 5 to 9 p.m., free entry, but food will cost

Join the Indonesian Students Club as they put on this event with food, performances, and competitions. Learn about a cuisine and a culture that’s not all that well represented here in C-U, and maybe even make some new friends. (JH)

Drink wine and enjoy some local music, Alto Vinyards, 2 to 4 p.m., free entry, but the wine will cost ya

Bloomington-based band The Unemployed Architects will be playing a “Wine Down” event at Alto Vinyards in Champaign. The band will be bringing their brand of indie folk-rock to help you kick-back and decompress from the previous week before you’re thrown back in on Monday. (BH) Photo from the event Facebook page.

I’d Like To Buy An Enemy 2.0, Lincoln Hall Theater, 3 p.m., free

This is the culminating event for the CU Interfaith Exploration that’s happening throughout the weekend. According to the event description, it’s a “comedic and thought-provoking look at the fears that often guide human behavior and lead to ‘othering’ people who are different from us, often dehumanizing them, ignoring the essential interconnection of all living beings.” Seems like an important discussion to be having nowadays. You will need to register to make sure you have a spot (JM).


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.

More Articles