Smile Politely

Last Saturday’s Toast to Taylor Street was awesome

Alyssa Buckley

Last Saturday, Toast to Taylor Street‘s festival event celebrated performers, makers, and Taylor Street businesses on a beautiful October evening. The event had an open air market with local businesses, live bands, craft beer, local food and drinks, and a drag show finale.

On Taylor Street in Champaign, there are colorful vendor tents set up with makers selling goods and Downtown Champaign building tops in the background. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Presented by Farren’s Pub, The Blind Pig Co, Cowboy Monkey, Champaign Center Parnership, Fire Doll Studio, Perennial Sound Studio, Behemoth Durable Goods, and Before Brand, this event was a collaborative effort.

During the day, there are vendors setting up for the Toast to Taylor Street event party. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

All day long, Taylor Street had local foods and artisan goods for sale. People wandered through the market buying cakes, cookies, handmade cards, art, socks, beer, and more.

At night, there are vendor tents for Toast to Taylor Street and shoppers browsing the open air market. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The vendors at Toast to Taylor Street included Hunny Bunny Bakes, Fire Doll Studio, Art CoopFRESHASSMONKKatrina Catizone, J.Gil FitnessPure Vida Pets, and more.

A wooden box with a metal pig etched with the words Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The Blind Pig had a mini bar set up in the street on Taylor Street, serving craft beer for the event. $6 pours of brews from The Blind Pig, Triptych, and Riggs were available to enjoy with live music.

On the Blind Pig patio, there are overhead lit string lights at night illuminating the patio of many diners at round outdoor black tables. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

At night, there was a stage set up on Taylor Street next to Farren’s where live bands performed including New Souls, Modern Drugs, and more.

The band Modern Drugs is playing for an outdoor crowd at Toast to Taylor Street. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Tables right in front of the stage were reserved for diners of Farren’s, and there were lots of people eating burgers and rocking out to the jams. Plus, there were plenty of outdoor tables for The Blind Pig near the open air market, and further down Taylor Street, I enjoyed a red sangria on Cowboy Monkey’s patio — and I could still enjoy the music.

A pantsless drag performer in a beautiful black leotard with a cape performs at Toast to Taylor Street in Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The street festival event ended with a drag show featuring three queens and a king. It was a super fun show that had quite a crowd sitting at tables, perched on the curb (like I was), and standing all along Taylor Street having a good time at the Saturday night performance.

The cast of the Toast to Taylor Street drag show stands at the end of the show. There are three drag queens and one drag king standing on a black stage at night with street lights shining behind them. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This event was a wonderful reminder of how lucky we are to live in a place like C-U where restaurants, makers, and performers collaborate to bring something new and fun for our community.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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