Smile Politely

Weekender: May 19-21

FRIDAY, May 19th

4th Annual Roots Walk, Crystal Lake Park, 6 p.m., free

C-U Folk and Roots Festival’s annual Roots Walk is one of their best off-season events. Crystal Lake Park hosts this year’s lineup of local folk musicians who will be situated throughout the park and playing their music for you to walk around and enjoy. The family-friendly Roots Walk helps to welcome in outdoor music season in C-U each year, but remains one of the most unique of those events. See the page for the full lineup of artists. (JTM)

Art Remastered: Solo Showcase at Krannert Art Museum, Krannert Center, 7 p.m., free

Art Remastered consists of local musicians responding to artwork found on display at Krannert. Each musician has picked a piece to perform about, and this evening, they will play in front of the artwork that they have chosen. SIx different musicians will provide a different take on visual art by adding sonic art to it at this unique and family-friendly session. Check out the event page for more info. (JTM)

The Ladies of Looming, Blips + Chitz, 9 pm

If you’re not familiar with Springfield-based indie band Looming, you probably should be. This Friday, part of them hit Blips + Chitz for a good ol fashioned house show, aided by one of my favorite new local bands, Sleeping Okami. This one is not to be missed. (BH)

SATURDAY, May 20th

Attend a patio party, Baxter’s American Grille, 100 Trade Center Drive, Champaign, 2-10 p.m., prices vary

Baxter’s is kicking off patio season with a party on its patio. The event will feature live music from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. Stone Brewing will be on tap, appetizers are free, and there will be food and drink specials all afternoon. Cross your fingers that the rain stays away — this should be a good time. Photo from Facebook (JH)


C-U Indivisible General Meeting, Champaign Public Library, 5 p.m.

Our President sucks and does treasonous stuff like twice a day now, so why not organize for a better future? That’s where C-U’s chapter of Indivisible comes in. If you’ve been annoyed by Rodney Davis lately (and you know we have been), this is the place to talk about practical, actionable next steps. Channel your rage. Organize. (BH)

Those who teach CAN opening reception, 1300 N. Neil St., Champaign, 5-9 p.m., FREE

Yup, it really is an art gallery inside “Consolidated Communications” but last year, this reception was the place to be. This year, the exhibition will feature Unit 4 teachers, who also are probably stealthily among your favorite artists: Jillian Nickell, Stacey Gross, and Melissa Farley are just a few of the extremely talented people that are filling our galleries and teaching our town’s kids. Even though it’s an unusual venue, it should be a great time. (RK)

Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me, Art Theatre, downtown Champaign, 10 p.m., $8

Watching two episodes of Twin Peaks in a theatre full of people has been one of the most disturbing and wonderful experiences I’ve ever had. With the show returning to television this Sunday, be ready by re-watching the feature-length film that hits all the high points. It may not leave you asking, “How’s Annie?” repeatedly, but it will definitely get you in the right frame of mind to see what’s going on in the Lodges since we’ve been gone. (RK)

Go pick strawberries, price varies

I stumbled upon this pretty cool article on about strawberry picking in and around C-U, and now that we’re approaching summer — it is time to pick. This seems like a fairly unconventional way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but a fun one with a delicious result. (PS) Photo from

SUNDAY, May 21st

Eat brunch at MIGA, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $10-30

I had the opportunity to check out MIGA’s new brunch menu a few weeks back, and it is just another reason to make a stop there. While there is a pretty small window for brunch on Sundays — make sure you check out the menu, which is super reasonably priced. (PS) Photo by Justine Bursoni.

Get a free tennis lesson, Clark Park (McKinley and Daniel, Champaign), 3 to 4:30 p.m., free

One of the fantastic things about living in C-U is the massive amount of parks we have access to, and most of those parks include tennis courts. Where I grew up, tennis was a sport for country clubbers and the monied; but with so many public courts here, the hubby and I have taken to the sport. The Champaign Park District folks will be on hand for this free workshop for beginners of all ages — adults, too! You’ll likely spend most of your time chasing the ball, but if you stick with it (and sign up for CPD classes), you’ll be playing “real” tennis in no time. For more details, check out the event’s Facebook page. Photo from Facebook (JH)

Sounds at Sunset: New Souls, Scott Park, 6-8 p.m., free

Ahhh summer. It’s here. And here in C-U it doesn’t get much better than sitting outside on a beautiful day and listening to some live music. All summer long the Champaign Park District offers Sounds at Sunset at various parks. This week’s offering is New Souls, a local band that plays soul, hip hop, and R&B covers. The forecast says 74 and sunny, there’s a playground for the kids to play on, and you can relax to the sounds of some Prince, Blackstreet, Erykah Badu, and more. Photo from Facebook. (JEM)

Go out to eat on campus, multiple establishments, whenever (just be sure to check websites for summer hours)

The students are gone! If you’ve been wanting to try out one of the many wonderful campus eating establishments, this is the time to do it. Graduation happened and the summer session has yet to begin. Campustown is glorious during the summer. So hit up Murphy’sSakanaya, Burrito King, The Hub (haven’t tried this one yet)…the possibilities are endless. (JEM)


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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