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Krannert Center announces premiere of Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol

Krannert Center has just added something to your wish list that's guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. Chicago's Manual Cinema, who we last saw in 2018 for their production of Blue Memories—The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, will be back, by Zoom, to share their take on Charles Dicken's, A Christmas Carol.

The following is shared directly from the KCPA announcement.

In this contemporary take on the classic, Aunt Trudy, an avowed holiday skeptic, has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe’s famous Christmas cheer. From the isolation of her Chicago apartment, she reconstructs his annual A Christmas Carol puppet show—over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning, cinematic adaptation of Dickens’ classic ghost story. Performed live and streamed live from their Chicago studio, Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol features hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes, and a live, original musical score. Following the Sunday, December 6th matinee performance, audiences are invited to join for a short, behind-the-scenes experience that will highlight the innovative artistry of Manual Cinema’s puppets and props.

Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol
Saturday, December 5th, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 6th, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
$15/household; please visit for student rates and to purchase tickets for this online event that will last less than an hour.
Recommended for all ages.

Top image courtesy of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts


Get your igloo at Big Thorn starting this Friday

Big Thorn Farm & Brewery is offering igloo reservations starting this Friday, November 13th. You can reserve a two hour window in your own igloo online. The reservation costs $10 an hour and can fit up to eight people. In between parties, staff will leave windows and doors open while they sanitize tables. The igloos are equipped with heaters.

There is a tab minimum of $40 an hour for the entire party which includes purchases of beer, food, and extras like t-shirts, growlers, and to-go bottles. Check out the beer list and food menu here.

At this time, the only on-site dining and beer drinking will be in an outdoor igloo by reservation. Big Thorn also will be offering carryout and curbside pickup if you would like to remain in your vehicle.

Big Thorn Farm & Brewery
14274 E 600 North Road
F 3 to 9 p.m.
Sa noon to 9 p.m.
Su noon to 8 p.m.

Top image from Big Thorn's Facebook page.


Joe Biden, Kamala Harris have won the 2020 Presidential election

After a grueling 2020 Presidential race, former VP Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have officially been declared the winners, defeating incumbent Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence. 

The Associated Press (alongside many others, New York Times, CNN, and ABC) has officially projected Biden to win in Pennsylvania, giving him 273 electoral college votes.

Check out our 2020 election coverage here.

Top image from Joe Biden's Twitter.


Happy national nachos day

Where do you get your favorite nachos? Today is National Nachos Day, and I'll be honoring this holiday — and supporting our C-U restaurants — today by ordering nachos (and a bunch of tacos) to go. You should celebrate, too.

Don't know where to go? We've got you covered. Here's a nacho round-up, second nacho list, and another. Lastly, if you like the look of the nachos pictured above, you can grab nachos to go from Los Hidalguense food truck.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.


Champaign County Forest Preserve District tax extension referendum passes

The 2020 referendum seeking to increase the property tax percentage to help give the Champaign County Forest Preserve District more funding (since they haven't had an increase in many years) has passed. You can read plenty of FAQs about the referendum here.

Read our Editorial Board feature which endorsed the referendum.

Top image from Champaign County Forest Preserves website.


Illinois 13th District: Rodney Davis defeats Betsy Dirksen Londrigan

Republican Rodney Davis has defeated Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan in the Illinois 13th Congressional District race, the Associated Press is reporting:

Keep up with the results of the 2020 Election here.

Here's a brief preview of the race we published in September. This marks the second time that Londrigan has been defeated by Davis in the race for the 13th District of Illinois.

Top image photos from (l) Rodney Davis' website and (r) Betsy Dirksen Londrigan's website.


The U of I Meat Science Lab has a new ordering website

Run by U of I's Department of Animal Sciences, the Meat Science Lab provides C-U with fresh and frozen meat, eggs, and more from University farms. 

Previously, buyers had to subscribe to the Meat Mail listserv. Now, the Meat Science Lab has a new, updated ordering website that makes it easy to select products and a curbside pick-up time. The website lets you search all products or filter products by what you're looking for. You can order old fashioned weiners, sausages, bacon, pulled pork, and cuts of steak, but there are also products for the more adventurous chef.

Order your meats and eggs, and let the Meat Science Lab deliver it to you curbside.

Meat Science Lab
1503 S Maryland Dr

Top image by the Meat Science Lab website.


C-U restaurants that are offering prepared Thanksgiving meals, pies, and a la carte

Black Dog's smoked turkeys are sold out for this year, but there are many offerings in Champaign-Urbana if you're not feeling like cooking this Thanksgiving.

C&C Kitchen is offering family meals for those who want the whole Thanksgiving dinner prepared. One option includes a smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, greens, candied sweet potatoes, rolls, and your choice of pie. The other family meal option includes a smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and choice of pie. The family meals feed four to six people for $180 or eight to ten people for $250. They also offer a la carte options for smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, Gouda macaroni and cheese, yeast rolls, pies, and more. Place your order by November 17th.

If you're not hosting a big group, Esquire has you covered for Thanksgiving. Esquire's Thanksgiving special is $15 which includes a half fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and two rolls. They also have mini pies for $5 each with your choice of pumpkin, apple, cranberry, or bourbon pecan pies. Because every holiday needs a signature cocktail, Esquire is also selling a cranberry sangria for two for $14. You can place your order by calling 217-398-5858.

Neil St. Blues made a special menu for Thanksgiving this year. Everything is a la carte, so order whatever you want to make a feast for your fam. Meat options include smoked Cajun-brined turkey ($74), oven roasted turkey ($59), oven roasted Cajun-brined whole chicken ($39), or a molasses brown sugar glazed ham ($69). You can also choose from their large sides (48 ounces): mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, mac 'n cheese, collard greens, candied yams, green beans, cornbread muffins, or dinner rolls. Dessert options include sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. The last day to order is November 22nd, and pick-up will be at a scheduled time on Thanksgiving Day.

A drippy peach pie with a crumble topping from Oh Honey Pie in Champaign, Illinois. The pie is a light brown color with melted peach filling spilling out a bit from the metal pie pan. Photo from Oh Honey Pie Facebook page.Photo from Oh Honey Pie Facebook page.

Oh Honey Pie is baking up some holiday pies. Choose from many pie options include salted honey pie, pecan pie, chocolate pie, caramel apple crumble, and pumpkin pie. There's also a spot to order a 12 ounce container of Oh Honey Pie's whipped cream made with real vanilla. Order on their website by November 16th and schedule your pick up or delivery for your pies on the day before Thanksgiving.

Piato Cafe is catering Turkey Day for $25 a person. The dinner includes your choice of bird (cider brined turkey, herb roasted turkey, or acorn stuffed squash), choice of side (mashed potatoes, sweet potato mash, or stuffing), choice of vegetable (carrots, green beans, or a zucchini-yellow squash-carrot mix), and your choice of dessert (pumpkin bread pudding, cranberry cheesecake, sweet potato pie, or a pear-cranberry tart. All meals come with gravy, pumpkin rolls, cranberry sauce, and a salad. Order November 20th and pick up on the day before Thanksgiving. 

Po' Boys is serving up Thanksgiving pies for $20 each. You can order on their website and select your pie. They're offering gluten-free versions of the pies as well. Their pie choices include apple, blueberry, cherry, peach, double chocolate mousse, pecan, coconut cream, and pumpkin. 

The Wheelhouse in St. Joseph is making a holiday family meal for four to six people. The Thanksgiving dinner includes roasted turkey (breast, leg, and thigh), mushroom and herb stuffing, green bean casserole, a salad, orange cranberry sauce, and two pies: apple pie and pumpkin pie for $195.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.


Illinois Football’s QB Brandon Peters, several others sidelined for positive COVID-19 tests

Last week's season opener for Illinois football proved to not only be just a bad loss for the Fighting Illini vs. Wisconsin. Unsurprisingly, the recent COVID-19 positive cases that have riddled Wisconsin (which has 22 active cases) have now impacted the Illinois football team. Illinois announced this morning that starting quarterback Brandon Peters, tight end Griffin Moore, and "several other players" will be sidelined for testing positive for COVID-19. Griffin and Moore are out until November 21st.

The team is playing Purdue at home today at 11 a.m.

Here's the tweet:

Top image from Fighting Illini Football's website.


Jupiter String Quartet to hold virtual concert on November 6th

Fans of the Jupiter String Quartet can look forward to a virtual performance of Michi Wiancko’s "To Unpathed Waters, Undreamed Shores," streamed live from Smith Hall on November 6th. This "multi-movement work, specially written for the Jupiter String Quartet which was originally intended as part of the quartet’s fall performance at Krannert Center, celebrates the beauty and vitality of the natural world, suggesting hope and inspiration as humanity addresses fears and worries for our planet. The central themes of regeneration and resilience highlight the need to protect each other and our most vulnerable populations."

The performance will be followed by a talkback with the JSQ and Michi Wiancko, moderated by Associate Professor Daniel Miller and Krannert Center's Tammey Kikta.

Jupiter String Quartet
Streaming live from Smith Hall
Friday, November 6th, 3 p.m.
Register for this Zoom-based event here

Photo from Facebook