Smile Politely

Weekender: September 13-15

Friday, September 13th

Check out the newly reopened Stango Cuisine, Lincoln Square Mall, all weekend, prices vary

Stango Cuisine has moved out of the sad Lincoln Square Mall food court and into the restaurant space in the building (formerly Tang Dynasty). As we’ve discussed many times, the food is fantastic. Swing by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (JH)

Get freaky and shop for art at the Freaky Friday Flair Up 2019, Broadway Food Hall, 5 to 8 p.m., free to enter, bring $ to shop, eat, and imbibe

Meet some of our town’s freakiest artists and artisans this Friday, shop for cool gifts, and enjoy all of the food and beverage potential of Broadway Food Hall. Featured vendors include Mad Wit Co., Gut That Devil, Rebecca Mars, Bobbie Bonebrake, Fabrikate, Mad Maxx, and Monarch Alley. (DD) Photo from Facebook event page

Stroll through a meadow of jazz music, Meadowbrook Park, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

While walking through the Wandell Sculpture Garden in Urbana’s Meadowbrook Park is mostly a visual experience, this Friday it will appeal to the sense of sound as well. The Urbana Park District will be hosting the 15th year of the Meadowbrook Park Jazz Walk. Jazz musicians will be in various spots along the park trails and guest can go from musician to musician at their own pace. A pre-walk mixer will also be hosted by the Urbana Parks Foundation to give an update on the Campaign for the Next Century. The mixer is free and open to the public and will feature musician Rick Murphy and light hors d’oeuvres. (SP) Top photo from Facebook event page

Pelican, Bloodiest, Staghorn, Loose Cobra, 8 p.m., $15-20

Here’s a gnarly outdoor rock show that is an excellent option for your weekend. Just about 15 minutes south of C-U exists the Loose Cobra, which is always a fun time, considering it is the best kind of dive bar around in a lot of ways. Chicago prog/metal band Pelican heads back to the area after the release of their new record Nighttime Stories. (PS) Photo by Marfa Capodanno

Saturday, September 14th

Do some meal planning, all weekend, free

I was resistant to meal planning for years. I really enjoy cooking; it’s my creative outlet. It felt like meal planning was too restrictive, too stifling. But in an effort to reduce food waste and overall grocery cost, I caved. It’s actually quite nice to really stick to my shopping list, and to have a plan for what I’m making during the week. There’s still plenty of room for creativity, and I find the best inspiration when I shop at the farmers’ markets. Grab a cookbook or two from the local libraries, and have fun with it, (JH)

Host a taste test, your house, anytime, prices vary

Sometimes it’s fun to get a group of friends together and have a taste test party. Pick any food or drink item, get a bunch of different kinds of that item, and make up a little sheet for notes and ratings. Popular items include wine and beer and pastries, but I suggest taking advantage of the many Mexican and Korean and Thai places we have in town and picking a dish to try from all of them. Each person brings a dish of pad Thai, or chicken tacos, or bulgogi. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Attend a Korean festival, Jefferson Middle School, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., free

This event is hosted by Unit 4 Schools, C-U Korean Language School, and Korean Language & Culture School, and will include performances, activities, and the best part of any festival…food. It’s open to the public, and an opportunity to experience Korean culture and build community. (JM)

Adopt a new friend, Champaign County Humane Society, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $2-100 if adopting

CCHS is having a Clear the Shelter event on Saturday, which is a great opportunity to adopt at a discounted price. You know you were thinking about adding a dog, cat, hamster, or even snake to your family, and now is the time. Take a peek at all of the currently adoptable pets here. (JM) Photo from Champaign County Humane Society Facebook page

Start moving your body with Jaylen De’Angelo Clay, Urbana Dance Company, 2 p.m., $15 drop-in or $65 for the full five-class series

Jaylen De’Angeglo Clay’s approach to contemporary jazz dance is all-in: body, mind, and soul. Learn Clay’s dance exercises and choreography while learning to experience that jazz feeling for yourself. With the overall “aim of growing one’s individual voice through movement and to share it with others,” this workshop series could be just the movement gamechanger you’re looking for. (DD)

Elsinore, Crofton Coleman, Anika Emily, The Art Theater, 8 p.m., $15

Any time a local band is putting together a release with the accompaniment of a variety of other local artists in town, it is worth a bit more of a highlight. Elsinore have been hard at work on their upcoming record A Life in the 21st Century. In addition to the live show, they will be screening a bunch of videos filmed for the album by some artists you may be familiar with from C-U. (PS) Graphic from the Facebook event page, photo from album art by Anna Longworth

Sunday, September 15th

Go hiking with your pup, Homer Lake, 10 a.m., free

Champaign Outdoors is hosting their first “Pup Hike” out at Homer Lake, where you can bring your favorite doggo and hike the trails. My dog is a bit too crazy to bring to this type of thing, but hopefully you have one that is chill. Mine is the opposite of chill. There will be a raffle, and you are welcome to bring a lunch and hang out after. Note: your dog has to stay on a leash the whole time. (JM)

Dig into some drag history, Spurlock Museum, 1:30 to 4 p.m., free ($3 suggested donation)

In Her Closet- How to Make a Drag Queen opens at the Spurlock Museum this weekend, examining the art of drag through the costumes, materials, and stories of drag performers with C-U connections. The exhibit will run through May 2020. To get in the mood for your visit, check out our preview from this week and/or watch some performances of the featured queens. (JM) Photo by Cope Cumpston

Swap food and goods, 25 O’Clock Brewing Company, 3 to 4:30 p.m., free to attend

Nothing beats homegrown/homemade food, but it can be hard to make the large variety of goods you crave all on your own. The CU Food and Goods Swap invites you to share and receive homemade food and goods with members of the community. Setup begins at 3 p.m. at 25 O’Clock Brewing Company (grabbing a beer encouraged!) and the swap will start at 4 p.m. The trades will be one unit for one unit and no money is exchanged. Participants are encouraged to be as eco friendly as possible, particularly with packaging their goods. Registration is required to attend and a full list of rules can be found on the Facebook event page. (SP) Photo from Facebook event page

Interfaith Vigil, Randolph Street Community Garden, 3 p.m., free

Local faith leaders from several religious traditions are gathering in “remembrance, hope, and action in response to local and national gun violence.” Several area groups have come together to plan the event, and all are invited to attend. It’s an opportunity to express grief but also come away with actions for creating change. Be sure to follow our “When Faith Speaks” series to read about how some of these faith leaders are handling this time of heightened gun violence, racism, and xenophobia. You can find the most recent installment here. (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.

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