Smile Politely

Weekender: September 7–9


Murder Mystery Dinner, 88 Broadway, Cocktails, 5:30 p.m., Show, 7:00 p.m., Dinner, 7:30 p.m., $40

This event is part of the C-U Pride Fest, but even if you don’t plan to go to the festival on Saturday, you’ll have a great time at this dinner. If you’ve never participated in a Murder Mystery Dinner, you’re in for a treat. The performance is adapted from a script owned by the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company, who will perform Date with Death: A Queer Encounter. Piato Cafe will cater the seven-course meal.

Check out the link to read up on all the details of how to play and also the fabulous prizes that you could win. Go here for tickets. (TN)

Harvest Moon Family Music Festival, Harvest Moon Drive-In, Friday–Sunday, $10/adult, $5/kid ages 6–12, kids under six are free

Here’s the schedule:

Friday, 7:50 p.m.:

Ghostbusters, screen 1
Top Gun, screen 2 (could this be a pre-Pride Fest event?)

Saturday, 11:00 a.m.Midnight: Harvest Moon Family Music Festival. Seven bands will be playing throughout the day. There will be free bounce houses for the kids, games, contests, DJs, a comedian/magician, and a giveaway of a 1967 Mustang.

Sunday, 7:50 p.m.:

Ghostbusters, screen 1
Top Gun (could this be a post-Pride Fest event?)

Check out the link for a large poster that lists all of the bands. Get tickets here. (TN)

Zoo Improv Furiday Night at SoDo, 8:00–9:30 p.m., $3

Zoo Improv will have the participants from their Level 1 improv workshop opening up the evening.

Also, SoDo Theatre has been under renovations for awhile, so come check out the unveiling. (TN)

Chalice Dubs Masquerade at Canopy Club, $10 advance/$12 door, 8:00 p.m.

This one might only apply to students, or at least those who really, really love dubstep music. You can head over and put out the vibe at Canopy for the first installment of Chalice Dubs Masquerade of the semester, notably featuring Dieselboy and a handful of others. Come dressed to glow, because this is considered a black-light party as well as a sweat and dance factory. Should be interesting. (PS)

Learn to dance, for real, Regent Ballroom, 6:00–7:10 p.m. (or Sunday, 5:00–6:10 p.m.)

If the last time you danced really well, you were doing the Macarena, or worse yet, the Moonwalk, it may be time to learn a few new moves. This weekend, the Regent Ballroom begins its new fall classes, including two classes of Ballroom 1, either Friday, from 6:00–7:10 p.m., or Sunday, from 5:00–6:10 p.m. 

You’ll learn to swing, waltz, foxtrot, and rumba, and I’m betting you’ll be glad you did. Even if you’ll never be Fred Astaire, you may want to go back for more. (SK)


Take Care’s Fun(d)raisin’ Rock Rummage Sale, 710 W. Hill, Champaign – 9:00 a.m.

Local chums Take Care are selling a bunch of their stuff, and serious amounts of it. They are looking to make some money to help fund recording their new record — jams of which I, myself, really want to hear sooner rather than later. Items up for grabs, according to their Facebook event, include clothes, housewares, furniture, drumsets, records, guitar pedals, cables, CDs, homemade baked goods, home recordings, personal artwork, and of course, they’ll be accepting donations. I’m not one for garage sales, typically, but this sounds like there could be some good stuff worth grabbing on the cheap. (PS)

Twin City Derby Girls Try-outs, Skateland, 9:30–1030 a.m.

Have you ever read about or — better yet — watched the Twin City Derby Girls kick butt all over the rink and thought to yourself that you’d not only love to do that, but that you’d be fucking awesome at it? Now’s your chance. (TN)


Greek Food Festival, Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, 11:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

I don’t know much about this event, except that the menu looks great. And Hellenic Dancers! Check out a larger image of the poster here. (TN)


C-U Pride Festival, Lincoln Square Mall, Noon–2:00 a.m.

Oh my God, even I think that we’ve heard enough about this festival. This wonderful, fabulous, amazingly fun festival. An event that has both family-friendly and adult entertainment!

OK, I’ll shut up. If you’ve been avoiding all of the rainbow imagery on the site this week and don’t know what I’m talking about, go here to listen to Kevin Bowersox-Johnson’s inteview on Smile Politely Radio. Go here to read our preview of the entire festival. And go here to read up on Jariko, one of the festival’s headlining acts.

Oh, and the actual organizers have a website and whatnot too. (TN)

Farmer’s Table Dinner, Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant, $20

For just $20, you’ll be served a four-course meal made with locally sourced ingredients, plus a special dessert made from homegrown peaches.

I don’t eat at the Red Herring enough, which is total bullshit because I work very near the place. But the times that I have eaten there I’ve loved it, and they have some of the best baked goods in the city. Liz and Jeremiah wrote about them quite a long time ago. I think it’s time for an update! (TN)

Opening Night Party, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, $5

It’s the start of the Krannert season, and what better way to kick it off than in the Lobby, dancing to La Excelencia, an 11-piece salsa orchestra making music from a time in which most of us weren’t even yet born (I was, alas). La Excelencia is fronted by Julián Silva and José Vázquez-Cofresí, and boasts a variety of musicians of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, Argentine-Ecuadorian, and Japanese descent.

If Brazilian music is more your style, head outdoors to the Amphitheatre and dance to the sounds of Samba Soul.

Full schedule:

6:00 p.m.: Doors open and food sales begin
6:00–7:30 p.m.: DJ Fede (Stage 5)
6:15–7:00 p.m.: Samba Soul (Amphitheatre)
7:30–9:00 p.m.: La Excelencia (Main Lobby Stage)
8:00–8:45 p.m.: Samba Soul (Amphitheatre)
9:00–10:30 p.m.: DJ Fede (Stage 5)

To buy tickets, go here or call (217) 333-6280. (TN)

Klose Knit Anniversary Party, Klose Knit, 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Klose Knit in Urbana (across from Strawberry Fields) is celebrating their fifth anniversary party with a big sale and yarn bombing contest this weekend. Yarn bombing, you ask? Yes, yarn bombing. This might be interesting, even if you’re not a knitter and didn’t follow any of the fascinating links I just gave you, because they plan to cover the front stoop and the bicycle rack with yarn. But if you are a knitter, bring swatches of yarn and you’ll get entered for prizes. The sale and yarn bombing continues on Saturday during their open hours, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (SK)

10th Champaign-Urbana Smørrebrød Project Sandwiches and Tasting, Buvons, 3:00–6:30 p.m.

Shades and Punchy will make to order five types of their popular Danish open faced sandwiches, $4–$6 each, to go with a special blind tasting from Sam Vandergrift of Wirtz Distributing. Buvons will award prizes, including tickets to the Gala, to the winners and also the biggest loser. Proceeds go to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. (SK)


Dish It UP: Post-Pride Brunch, 88 Broadway, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., $25/person

Put the final touches on your C-U Pride Fest weekend with a brunch hosted by the UP Center! Piato Cafe will provide a delicious brunch and 88 Broadway is generously providing complementary mimosas. Start your day with a delicious meal and drag performances by five of C-U’s favorite Queens.

Check out the link above for menu details. Go here for tickets. (TN)

Bags & Hags 50/50 Tourney, Emerald City Lounge, 3:00 p.m., Presale: $30 | Day of: $40

Pride Weekend continues at Emerald City Lounge! 50/50 double-elimination bag tournament. Registrations starts at 2:00 p.m. Tournament starts at 3:00. And yes, there will be great drink specials.

Call (217) 398-8661 to reserve your team today. (TN)




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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