Smile Politely

Weekender: July 26-28

Friday, July 26th

Enjoy a glass of wine and a Post-It art show, Analog, 6 to 8 p.m., free admission

Leave it to CUDO (The Chamapign-Urbana Design Organization) to curate an art show using Post-Its as mini-canvases. The walls of Analog will be filled fun-size masterpieces by Carly Benny, Judiee Lee, Katie Khau, Kristy Lau, Marc-Anthony Macon, Matt Wiley, Maxx Gogski, Ralph Roether, and Scott Barber. These are some of the top names in local art and design so you know it’s gonna be amazing. You’ll never look at office supplies the same way after this. (DD) Photo from CUDO Facebook event page

Look for some bats, Anita Purvis Nature Center, 7:30 to 9 p.m., $10/person

Anita Purvis is hosting Bat Mania, a program that will teach you about “these misunderstood creatures of the night.” Bats are good for us — they eat bugs! After a brief info session, you’ll head outside to look for some. Register online here. (JH) Photo from Bat Mania Facebook event page

Saturday, July 27th

Visit the Mid-American Gardener, Urbana Market at the Square, 9 to 11 a.m., free

Back in the days when I used to have a vegetable garden, this would generally be the time of year when I was tired of maintaining it and not sure what to do with 23 zucchinis, so maybe you’re at a point where you need some encouragement and advice. Tinisha Shade-Spain, WILL’s Mid-American Gardener, will be out at the market on Saturday ready to answer your gardening questions. Also, it’s prime time for peaches and corn so it’s a great day to be at the market.

Browse some lightly used tools and donate some of yours, CU Woodshop, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., free

If you’re looking to purchase/swap tools and hardware or need to give some away, CU Woodshop will be your one-stop “shop” to do either this Saturday. Beginning at 9 a.m., the business will host a Used Tool Sale and Swap in partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. You will be able to sell, purchase, or donate lightly used tools. If you are looking to sell or swap, you will need to reserve a booth at the website. Those looking to purchase will have a large selection of used, specialty, and antique tools to browse. You can also make a tax-deductible donation of your tools to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which will be used on job sites or sold in their store. Whichever option you choose is sure to bring you a smile. (SP) Image from CU Woodshop’s website

Pick some strawberries, Mariah’s Mums & More, Clinton, 10 a.m. to noon, prices vary

I find the best tasting food is the food you have to work for. Picking your own strawberries ensures you get exactly what you want, and how much you want. You can make a little day trip of this outing and stop at Clinton Lake and then Dewey’s Drive-In for some burgers and soft serve. (JH) Top photo by Jessica Hammie

Eat some fair food, Champaign County Fair, Crystal Lake Park, noon to 5 p.m., about $10/person

This is the one time of year that I eat a bunch of fried food of questionable origins. Just a couple of years ago I had my very first corndog, and it was quite good. Not into meat on a stick? Go for the funnel cake, or fried candy. Lemon shake up, perhaps? Don’t forget to leave room for the soft serve ice cream. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Check out some burlesque, Seven Saints, 8 to 11:30 p.m., $20

Carnivàle Debauche Burlesque and Vaudeville Troupe will be performing in the beer garden at Seven Saints with a show entitled Evening of Empowerment. You can get your tickets ahead of time here, they will also be available at the door. Want to have an idea of what to expect? Read our write up of their last show to spark your interest. (JM) Image from Carnivàle Debauche Facebook event

Alex HofferPour Bros. Craft Taproom Artist Alley, free, 8:30 p.m.

The live music series in the new beergarden show space at Pour Bros. rolls on this weekend with Alex Hoffer, a blues/rock artist out of Chicago by way of Joliet. Read up on some of the goals and mission of what Pour Bros. is looking to establish in Downtown Champaign via Nicole’s feature from a few weeks back. If the weather’s good, this is a good, free hang in Downtown Champaign. (PS)

The Life and Times, Centaur, Our Landmark, Loose Cobra, $10 donation, 9 p.m.

Chicago’s Life and Times are certainly no stranger to performing here in C-U, and I believe this is their first show around these parts in 3-4 years, last performing at the Accord. This rock show takes place at the always lovely Loose Cobra in Tolono, just about 10-15 minutes south of C-U, alongside a rare show by bar owner Matt Talbott of HUM’s project Centaur. Our Landmark joins in on the fun, which it will be, because shows are fun, remember? (PS) Photo by Chris Green

Sunday, July 28th

Visit Champaign or Urbana’s dog park, dusk ’til dawn, free

The “dog days of summer” we experienced last weekend kept many dogs, including my own bored australian shepherd, inside with the air conditioner. If you haven’t had a chance this week to get some of that pent-up energy released, give the Champaign or Urbana dog parks a try. Both are meant for dogs to romp offleash and socialize with other dogs. Champaign’s park is mostly a large empty field good for running and playing catch. Urbana’s park has many more trees and tall grasses that keep your pooch interested the whole time.  Membership is required at both parks and is reciprocal with both park districts for an additional $10 fee. Select the following links for information & registration with Champaign’s Bark District and Urbana’s Bark Park. (SP) Photo by Steven Pratten

Catch a kid-friendly matinee performance of Into the Woods, Parkland College Theatre, 2:30 p.m., $7 for kids, $10 for seniors, and $14 for adults

Escaping into a fairy-tale musical is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This production features local youth performers from the Urbana Park District’s Summer Theatre Program. Bring theatre fans of all ages and help support our local youth theatre. (DD) 


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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