Smile Politely

Weekender: September 25-27

While we encourage you to check out what’s happening around C-U this weekend, please use precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are out and about, please wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and most importantly, respect the people around you, especially the employees that work at these establishments.

Friday, September 25th

Take part in C-U Pride, online, times vary, free

While I will miss the gathering aspect of Pride Fest this year, Uniting Pride has done an amazing job of creating a weekend filled with unique and varied virtual experiences for this year’s Pride Fest. There are events for all ages, some educational and some just for fun. You can find the full schedule here. Also, be sure to check out the Pride Guide to find area vendors that have special items for sale this week, and take a look at all the cool stuff available for bidding in the online auction. (JM)

Three men are standing shoulder to shoulder, wearing suit jackets and ties. A green banner across the bottom reads Napoleon Dynamite Live. Image from Facebook event page.

Image from Facebook event page.

Make a plan for Pygmalion, times vary, free (but you can donate here)

Pygmalion has gone virtual, which means you will have all of dynamic performances and discussions and panels at your fingertips. Missed the events on Thursday? No worries. There is plenty to look forward to on Friday and Saturday, including Q&A with the cast of Napoleon Dynamite, a Saturday Salon with Ari Shapiro, and much more. Want something more interactive? Try the new online escape room from C-U Adventures in Time and Space: Exit Stage Left. Find the full schedule here. (JM)

Binge watch six hours of poetry readings, online, 6 to 11 p.m., free

Take a break from your streaming services and binge watch locally-grown poetry read aloud. Pygmalion’s Literary Marathon! kicks off with poet and arts advocate Rachel Storm, concludes with CU Poetry Group’s Jim O’Brien and featuring dozen of talented wordsmiths in between. Find out more here. (DD)

Saturday, September 26th

A pumpkin spice latte from Caffe Paradiso sits on a beige tabletop. The drink has no cover and is in a paper cup with a red band. The coffee is light brown, and the foam has a heart. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Order a pumpkin spice latte, Caffe Paradiso, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., $5.05

Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes. This version from Caffe Paradiso is divine: flavors of pumpkin, spices, coffee, and whipped cream. You can call ahead to order, and your drink will be ready when you arrive. You can also just pop in to place your order, but there is no indoor seating at this time. Check out other C-U fall treats you should enjoy here.  (AB)

Photo of an Australian shepherd dog laying on a partially built dog house with green turf. The dog is looking into the camera; it’s pink tongue is out. In the background are people and other partially built doghouses. On the bottom of the image is the text RtW! 2020: “Build from Home†Edition. Image from the Facebook event page.

Image from the Facebook event page.

Watch people build dog houses, your house, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., free to watch (but you can also participate)

Raise the Woof! is a competitive dog house building event that benefits Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County. Teams of people will build dog houses — there are two categories: “old dogs” are skilled builders, and “young pups” are people with little to no experience. Through Zoom, teams and event organizers will be connected to view progress, listen to live music, and play some trivia. Additional information is available on the Facebook event page. (JH)

Check out Crane Alley’s Oktoberfest, Crane Alley, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., prices vary

Yes, it’s time for Oktoberfest celebrations already. I know, I can’t believe it either. Crane Alley’s menu looks delicious, and includes wursts, pork schnitzel, pretzels, and a whole bunch of seasonal beer. Read our review from last year, and check out the Facebook page for details. (JH)

Photos of writers Bernardine Evaristo, Terrance Hayes, and Chris Abani with the Pygmalion Lit logo and event information. Image from Facebook.

Image from Facebook

Listen to author Bernardine Evaristo talk with poet Terrance Hayes at Pygmalion Lit 2020, 3 to 4 p.m., online, free

2019 Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo will join Terrance Hayes and moderator Chris Abani to discuss her interest in the Afro-diasporia and its impact on her work. Evaristo has long been inspired to “explore the hidden narratives of the African diaspora, to play with ideas, conjur up original and innovative fiction and forms, and to subvert expectations and assumptions.” Learn more about the speakers and the event here. (DD)

Sunday, September 27th

19 slices of cooked bacon sit on a cooling rack inside a baking sheet at the photographer's house. Photo by Zoe Valentine.

Photo by Zoe Valentine.

Get some bacon, Old Time Meat & Deli, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., $7.99/lb

Weekends call for bacon, and this shop on Neil offers Dutch Valley bacon and pre-sliced applewood smoked bacon. You can pick up some artisan bacon from the center aisle fridge, or some thick-cut applewood bacon from behind the counter. Check out all the delicious weekend offerings you can get at Old Time here. (AB)

Make a voting plan, your house, anytime, free

It’s here. Voting has officially begun in Illinois. If you requested a mail-in ballot, the Champaign County Clerk’s office began mailing them Thursday. You can early vote at Brookens Gym now, and many other places beginning October 19th. If you are voting by mail, you also have the option of using drop boxes that are scattered throughout C-U, or take advantage of drive and drop events around the county on Saturdays in October. There are plenty of options for safely returning your ballot, pick one and get it done. Haven’t registered yet? Well just do it already! Find out how 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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