Smile Politely

Weekender: September 27-29

Friday, September 27th

Visit the C-U Black and African Arts Festival, Lincoln Square Mall, 2 to 10 p.m., free admission

This event, spearheaded by two women wanting more opportunities to celebrate their cultures where they live and work, has a mission to “expose and give a culturally diverse experience to the Champaign-Urbana community.” They have artists, music, food, vendors, crafts, and more lined up for this two day celebration. You can check out our preview to find out more, and follow their Facebook page to see the vendors you can expect to see. (JM) 

Learn how rare books and manuscripts are preserved, University of Illinois Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 3 to 5 p.m., free

Back in July I got the scoop on this exhibit from Ruthann Miller and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. If you love books even half as much as I do, you’ll want to check out this chance to hear from real-life rare book and manuscript conservators. “While contemporary conservators strive to apply innovative modern conservation treatments for our objects, we see the good, the bad, and the ugly of past repairs every day. In this lecture, Consuela Metzger, Head of the UCLA Library Conservation Center, will discuss modern book and paper conservation.” Find out more here. (DD) Photo from Facebook event page

Do all the PYGMALION things, corner of Goodwin and Oregon, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., ticket prices vary

In case you weren’t aware from our very comprehensive coverage, PYGMALION is happening this weekend. The fun started yesterday but don’t despair, Friday and Saturday are packed with more amazing things. I will be spending my evening shopping at Made Fest and watching Antoni Porowski talk about food, but there is also all the music happening at Canopy Club, the launch of PYGHACK, and the first night of the Poetry Marathon, just to name a few things. You can find our full rundown of events here, and the official schedule here. (JM)

Make some home brewed cider to share with friends, at home (obviously), anytime, just the cost of supplies

I know with highs in the low-to-mid-eighties this weekend, it’s hard to feel the spirit of fall that is (ever so slowly) descending upon us. However, one way my fiancée and I are getting prepared for fall – and for the arrival of spooky season that begins next week – is by trying our hand at some home brewing. Specifically, we’re going to try and brew some hard cider. Knowing nothing about brewing, we opted to purchase a hard cider kit from; however, you can purchase many of the supplies you need in town at places like Friar Tuck Beverage in Savoy. Once you’ve made your cider, bring some friends over to help you taste test your handywork. (BH)

Saturday, September 28th

Listen to live music, buy local art, and drink wine slushies at the Sleepy Creek Art & Music Festival, Sleepy Creek Vineyards, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (also runs Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), free to attend but bring $$ for wine and art

If you’re craving a road trip this weekend, Sleepy Creek Art & Music Festival is the perfect destination. Meet a wide variety of C-U artists and makers, enjoy wine slushies and get a head start on your holiday shopping by buying art. The lineup includes printmaker Lisa Kesler, jewelry artist Crystal Hartman, painter Phil Strang, painter/maker extraordinaire Cindy Sampson, and more. Get more information here. (DD) Photo from Facebook event

Drink beer, Toast of Champaign, Blind Pig Brewery, noon to 2 a.m., prices vary

The 5th annual Toast of Champaign is all day Saturday, and will feature a bunch of local breweries, including Blind Pig Brewery, Big Thorn, JT Walkers, Riggs, Triptych, and Destihl. Different brews will be tapped at different times, so stop by early to get the full run down. (JH) Photo by Remington Rock

Celebrate Pride, Downtown Champaign, 1 to 7 p.m., free

It’s the 10th annual C-U Pride Fest, an event that seems to get bigger and better every year. Though the main event: the vendor fair, entertainment stage, and parade are happening Saturday, there are all sorts of events throughout the entire weekend that definitely deserve your attention. We offered up some highlights earlier this week, and you can see the full list of happenings here. This is one of those celebrations that remind you how great our community can be. (JM) Photo by Megan Flowers

Eat some ramen, Harvest Market, 5 to 8 p.m., $7/bowl

Harvest Market is having a ramen party, of sorts. There will be “wonderful broths” as well as toppings and at least one vegetarian option. It might be a nice place to take a break from the one hundred million other things happening in C-U this weekend. At only $7 a bowl, you won’t be breaking the bank. There will also be sushi and drink specials. (JH)

Sunday, September 29th

Attend the Apple and Pork Festival, DeWitt County Museum, Clinton, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., free, but prices vary for apples and pork

This annual festival has been happening since 1967, and proceeds benefit the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum. I haven’t actually been myself, but I have heard from friends that it’s a pretty good time. Plus you can really lean into fall feelings with all that pork and all those apples. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Head to Negangard Pumpkin Patch, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., every day

Piggybacking off my last recommendation, another great way to welcome the fall season is by visiting your local orchards and farms this weekend. If you can steal yourself away from PYGMALION this weekend, consider checking out Negangard Pumpkin Patch (it’s decorative gourd season, my friends!) Whether it’s to decorate your porch with future jack-o’-lanterns or to grab some great acorn squash and other good gourds for dinners and pies, there’s no better time to spend a day out in the country. (BH) Photo from Negangard Facebook page. 

Go to a Sausage Party, Triptych Brewing, 1 p.m. or 5 p.m., $25

No, not that kind of sausage party. This is Triptych’s 2nd annual event, and it will feature sausages from Old Time Meat and Deli, sides from Hendrick House, and of course beer. There are two seatings, and your ticket includes your meal, two beers, and a take home glass. You can make your reservation 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.

Top photo by Sam Logan

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