Smile Politely

Weekender: September 23-25

Friday, September 23rd

Eat a chicken sammich, Watson’s food truck, 4 to 9 p.m., $12

Watson’s Shack and Rail food truck will be parked at the Rose Bowl Tavern in Urbana this Friday night for PYGMALION 2022. Watson’s chicken sandwich has a tasty herb mayo that goes great with the house-made pickles. I like to order my chicken fried, but you can also have it grilled. (AB)

The Illini Women’s Volleyball team celebrates after winning a point or a game. On the left, three tall, white women in white jerseys move toward the right, where a tall, white woman with a long blonde ponytail is jumping in the air celebrating. On the right, there are two more women pointing in celebration. Both are white; one wears a white jersey, one wears a blue jersey. Photo from the Facebook event page.

Photo from the Facebook event page.

Check out the Illini Volleyball team, Huff Hall, 8 p.m., $12 adults / $7 kids

The Illini Volleyball home opener is against Maryland. Doors open one hour prior and if you have general admission seats, I recommend getting there early. Tickets are painfully cheap — these women play at such a high level. The Illini just dropped off the top 25, but you’re still in for a real treat when you see them play. (JH)

Go see Tick, Tick, Boom! at the Station Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $10 this night only

Take a break from your own existential crisis and enjoy Jonathan Larsen’s semi-autobiographical musical about creative self-doubt brought to you by the Celebration Company at the Station Theatre. Go Friday night and enjoy a special “First Friday” ticket price. (DD)

Singer Tamino looks to the left in front of a black background, a single light shines on the singer.

Photo from PYGMALION’s Facebook page. 

Hear some music at PYGMALION, NOLA’s Rock Bar, 8 p.m., $15

Part of PYGMALION, Belgian-Egyptian singer Tamino is performing a set at NOLA’s. He’ll also be celebrating the release of his new album Sahar which comes out on Friday. Tamino’s voice is magic, and paired with Sweetmelk opening up the evening? Sure to be amazing. Plus, Sweetmelk just announced that Briar Schlenker and James Mauck will be joining them for their set — it just keeps getting better and better. (SW)

Saturday, September 24th

Patrick Earl Hammie, D8.40.53 BUMP 1, 2021. Artist’s giclee print. © Patrick Earl Hammie. Photo from the Krannert Art Museum website, courtesy of the artist and 33 Contemporary.

Take in Black on Black on Black on Black, Krannert Art Museum, 12 to 6 p.m., free

Art + Design faculty members Patrick Earl Hammie, Stacey Robinson, Blair Ebony Smith, and Nekita Thomas are debuting their work featuring a “collaborative exploration of Black identity, healing, innovation, education, creativity, resistance, possibility, and Black speculative futures.” The opening celebration will have live music, an artists roundtable, food from The Stuft Bird and Neil Street Blues, and more. Find the full schedule of events here. (JM)


Attend Oktoberfest, Downtown Champaign, 3 to 10 p.m., $10 plus cost of food and drink

C-U Oktoberfest is a fundraiser for DSC, and it’s been a couple years since the last one. It’s always a good time, with plenty of food, beer, and polka. You can don your lederhosen and dirndl (or not). Get your tickets online ahead of time. Check out the video above for a sense of what to expect. (JH)

Catch the opening of the Quinceañeras exhibit, Spurlock Museum, 4 to 6 p.m., free

This new, temporary exhibit was curated by Professor Angharad N. Valdivia, Stephanie Perez, Ariana Cano, and Dr. Dora Valkanova, and it examines the cultural traditions of the quinceañera celebration in Latinx/es communities. Hear from Michael DeAnda, College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University, and Rachel Gonzalez-Martin, Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies, University of Texas at Austin, and be one of the first to explore the exhibit. (JM)

Photo of earrings in the shape of girl ghouls, flaming eyeballs, and Swanson's dinners from Dreaming With Johnny,

Photo from The Made Fest Instagram.

Shop The Made Fest, Rose Bowl Tavern, 5 to 10 p.m. bring $ to shop

If, like me, you can’t wait for Halloween, get your edgy monster glam on with earrings from Dreaming with Johnny at this year’s Made Fest. The list of vendors (see the Made Fest Instagram) is fantastic, and, possibly dangerous to my budget. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some savagely smart goods from Crass Stitching to help promote my own intersectional feminist agenda. Who’s with me? (DD)

Vieux Farka Toure sits on a chair outside under the stars. He holds his guitar in his lap, wearing an emerald green outfit.

Photo from PYGMALION’s Facebook page. 

Hear some world music, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $25

Malian-born singer-songwriter Vieux Farka Touré is an act to catch, and quickly rising in fame. He is releasing a new album with Khruangbin on September 23rd, and his music is really something special. He’ll be joined by C-U’s Mhondoro Rhythm Success, playing Zimbabwean pop music that is lively and exciting. (SW)

Sunday, September 25th

On a white plate, there are two ribeye tacos on corn tortillas. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Eat tacos de lomo for brunch, Maize at the Station, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., $3.75

Sundays are for brunch. If you had a great Saturday night taco at PYGMALION from the Maize food truck, you need to try tacos for brunch at the Mexican restaurant inside the old train station. Make it a boozy brunch with fresca mimosas by the glass or half carafe or go for the flavored margaritas. (AB).

Go get your pumpkins and gourds, your favorite pumpkin patch, hours vary, prices vary

Fall has arrived, on the calendar and in the atmosphere. This weekend’s weather is going to be glorious, so why not take advantage and get your pumpkins and decorative gourds to help you make the shift in the season. You can find details for a few of our favorite spots here, most of them opened this week. (JM)

Top photo by Julie McClure.


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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