Smile Politely

Weekender: August 7-9

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, August 7th

Graphic with white background and blue, red, orange, and yellow diagonal tripes in the upper left and lower right corners. The text Bicycle Tune Up & Moble Bike Shop is in centered in black, with the location and address of the bike shop. Neutral Cycle’s gray logo is in the background. Image from the Neutral Cycle appointment website.

Image from the Neutral Cycle appointment website.

Tune up your bike, Neutral Cycle at Analog, 5 to 8 p.m., prices vary

Neutral Cycle will have its mobile bike shop at Analog ready to service your bikes. Why not get your ride tuned while you enjoy a glass of wine? Seems like a win-win to me. (Just don’t drive drunk, please!) You’ll need to make an appointment online ahead of time. (JH)

Take a nighttime drive to look at the stars, anywhere outside of C-U, after 8:30 p.m., free

If the weather is clear, take a drive outside of C-U to do some star gazing. Pick any direction, and then find a parking lot or safe but poorly lit space to park your car (most parks technically close at dusk). Or, you can simply take a night time drive and open your sun or moon roof, if you have one. Download the free app SkyView Lite to get a sense of what you’re looking at. (JH)

Saturday, August 8th

Run around and then eat donuts, J. Gil Fitness, 8 a.m., $10

If you’re looking to have a fun morning wih both exercise and indulgence, this is it. J.Gil Fitness and Industrial Donut will co-host this community event of working out and donut eating. The class will be held outside with masks at J. Gil Fitness, 503 S County Fair Drive in Champaign, and then head over to Industrial Donuts in Savoy to order carryout. Tickets are $10 and include the class and 2 donut tokens. Registration is done by email to and the event page can be found here. (AB)

A grassy area with scattered trees filled with people in a yoga pose, facing away from the camera. Photo from Urbana Park District Facebook page.

Photo from Urbana Park District Facebook page. 

Yoga in the Park, Meadowbrook Park, 9-10 a.m., free

I’m thrilled that one of my favorite Urbana Park District offerings is back for the month of August. Yoga in the Park is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, maybe a little peace and calm, and do it in a safe way. Be sure to check out the UPD website for updated guidelines; they are making sure it’s more physically distanced than that photo from 2018.(JM)

A buffalo chicken pizza is covered in yellow and white cheese, jalapenos, chicken, and squirts of ranch dressing and sits in a cardboard takeout box. Photo from Dragon Fire Pizza Truck's Facebook page.

Photo from Dragon Fire Pizza Truck’s Facebook page.

Get some pizza to go, Dragon Fire Pizza Truck, 7 a.m. to noon, prices vary

Weekends are best when you don’t have to cook. Swing by the Dragon Fire Pizza Truck at the Urbana Farmers’ Market and order one of their pizzas. I’m partial to the buffalo chicken pizza, but the whole menu is solid. (AB)

Check out the Lisa Lisa & Hooey Jam Backyard Art Sale, 905 Lynn, Champaign, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., bring $ to shop

If you’re looking for a safe, socially distant opportunity to check out some local art stop by this sale featuring work by Lisa Kesler, Hooey Batiks, and Lisa Connery (of Crass Stitching). Masks are required and plenty of wipes will be on hand (pun intended). Get directions and other details here. (DD)

Two people wearing sunglasses are kneeling down, each holding a side of a large ring that is connected to the ground. Sun Studios is in the background. Photo from the band's Facebook page.

Photo from Black Eye Lillies’ Facebook page.

Black Eyed Lillies, The Iron Post, 6 p.m., donations encouraged

The duo Black Eye Lillies perform outside at Iron Post, and if you’re in the mood for some Amerciana, check this one out on Saturday mid-evening. (PS)

Sunday, August 9th

Learn to make Umeshu, online, 4 p.m., free

Japan House Shares series continues with a lesson on Umeshu, a traditional Japanese liquor. Japan House found Shozo Sato will be giving a demonstration using his secret family recipe, hopefully inspiring you to make some of your own. You can find the link for the online event on the Facebook event page. (JM)

Image collage of photo of James Baldwin, book cover of Begin Again and photo of Begin Again author Dr. Eddie Glaude

Image from Facebook event page.

Join an online discussion about James Baldwin’s legacy, 4 to 5:30 p.m., free

Baldwin scholar Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. will kick off the new READ: Racial Education, Activism, and Discussion series with a discussion of Baldwin’s lessons and their importance today. In his new book Begin Again, Glaude Jr. notes that “Baldwin’s writing does not bear witness to the glory of America. It reveals the country’s sins, and the illusion of innocence that blinds us to the reality of others. Baldwin’s vision requires a confrontation with our history (with slavery, Jim Crow segregation, with whiteness) to overcome its hold on us.” Regster in advance for what promises to be a powerful discussion. (DD)

The Falbonauts, Rose Bowl Tavern, 7 to 9 p.m., donations encouraged

It feelsl like a lifetime ago that I wrote this post about Falbonauts going on a Midwest tour, when really, it was only May 2019. Their show this weekend reminded me of their previous album, LSD & Heartache, which is still yours to stream. Check them out this Sunday outside at Rose Bowl Tavern. (PS)

Top photo from Urbana Park District Facebook page.


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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