Smile Politely

Weekender: July 25-27


Wieners & Wine, Sleepy Creek Vineyards, 8254 E 1425 N Rd, Fairmount, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., $5 or so

We’ve told you about Wieners & Wine before, but the forecast for tonight looks promising, and the wine slushies and hot dogs at Sleepy Creek make for a gourmet-ish take on gas station cuisine. Not into slushies? Try a Bloody Mary with Winey Mary. If you have friends and family in town, this is a sure way to impress. Photo by Chelsea Fisher. (JH)

Frozen Sing-Along, The Virginia Theater, 6 p.m.

Whether you have a deep and abiding love of all things Disney or just a deep and abiding love for the things your kids love, you might be interested in this family-friendly event at The Virginia Theater. This is your chance to unleash your inner Disney princess (or your inner Idina Menzel) and sing along with Anna on the song “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?,” with snowman Olaf on “In Summer,” and especially with Queen Elsa on “Let It Go.” Be prepared for a lot of rapturous singing and childlike enthusiasm, possibly even from some children. (MG) 

Scotty McCreery with special guest Gracia Harrison, Champaign County Fair Grounds, Urbana, 7 p.m., $10-$30. 

Winner of the 10th American Idol will be performing at this year’s county fair. His last album, released in late 2013, featured the top 10 Billboard hit “See You Tonight” and you can bet he will be singing all of your favorites this friday night. Grandstand tickets cost $10 while the track SRO (standing room only), $20, will grant you standing room only spots directly in front of the stage. And if you really want to go all out you can buy the early admission track SRO tickets, $30, which gets you onto the track 30 minutes before everyone else. (SL)

Begin Again, The Art Theater Co-op

While summer is usually dominated by explosion-y blockbusters (and we’ve had no shortage of those this year), there have been quite a few “smaller” films getting critical acclaim lately, from John Favreau’s delicious Chef to the crazy-good Snowpiercer. The next film on that list may well be Begin Again, starring Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Adam Levine (who, somewhat incredibly, has been getting uniformly good reviews for his acting). From the creator of the romantic musical Once, this love letter to New York will play at The Art all weekend. (MG)

Red Hot Summerfest, Cowboy Monkey, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $10

Rod Sickler’s Red Hot Summerfest is coming to Cowboy Monkey for four days. This event features performers from all over and raises money to benefit Dylan Lyons, a Danville native who is currently in recovery after being hit by two vehicles. Join Third Stone, Upshot, and others for the event. (RP)


imMEDIAte Justice: Media Workshop, Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway, Urbana, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., sliding scale: $5-25

The IMC is hosting an all-day series of media workshops. Learn Radio Production, Community Journalism, and Social Media from local experts. Hosted by the Prison Phone Justice Project of the UCIMC, a member of the Media Action Grassroots Network. (RP)


Summer Stage, Campustown, 6 p.m., free

The Champaign Center Partnership’s Bud Light Summer Stage is back in Campustown once again this year, and that is happening at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening. Bring the family out for this one, as there will be live music, an eating contest, and other activities for kids. The Brat Pack, 90s Daughter, and Mike Ingram & Friends will supply the music. (PS)


Visit Curtis Orchard, 3902 South Duncan Road, Champaign, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Curtis Orchard has opened for the season, and although we aren’t in prime apple picking and eating season, there will be pies, cider, cider slush(ies), doughnuts, and southern Illinois peaches available. (JH)

Plant a garden

It is not too late to get some seeds in the ground. You can start today by visiting a large commercial store like Home Depot, Menards, or Mejier. Or you can visit the local Common Ground Food Co-op for some high quality seeds. Some good options for this region at this time of the year are carrots, kale, radishes, summer sqush, swiss chard, and winter squash. Take today to dig up some dirt and plant something you can eat! (SL)

Roxane Gay, Leesa Cross-Smith, Lindsey Gates-Markel, Ruben Quesada reading, Mike ‘N Molly’s, 5 p.m., free

Sure, this is a shameless plug in a lot of ways, but who cares? This is a really cool event, so we’ll talk about it. The Pygmalion Literary Festival and us, Smile Politely, will be presenting this event that involves the authors listed above for readings on Sunday evening. Roxane Gay is the headlining reader, as she recently published her book An Untamed Statewhich Mathew took a look at not too long ago. The readings will start a little bit after doors open at 5 p.m., so grab your cocktail and get ready for a good evening in the beergarden. There will be a Q&A with Gay following the readings. (PS)



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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