FRIDAY, August 25th
Kickapoo Rail Trail Grand Opening, 5:30-6:30 pm, St. Joseph, Free
If you like biking, this weekend will be good for you - the new, 6.7 mile stretch of the Kickapoo Rail Trail will be opening up this weekend, allowing patrons to bike from Urbana to St. Joseph. To celebrate, they'll be holding a grand opening on Main St. in St. Joe, and it's sure to be a party. (BH)
Friday Night Live, downtown Champaign, 6-8 p.m., free
It's your last chance to experience this great summer event which always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about living in C-U. Have dinner or a drink at one of the many downtown establishments that offer outdoor seating, and enjoy the sounds of local musicians and the community vibe. Check out the 40 North website to see who will be performing where. (JM)
Flow arts, Michael Moxie and Satina, Friday at 6 and 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 12, 2, 4, 6, and 8 p.m.
Michael Moxie and Satina, proprietors of the coming-soon Hybrid Performance Arts store at the Lincoln Square Mall, will be boothing and performing at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. Stop by to see a variety of entertaining feats of dexterity, which can include juggling, poi spinning, fire dancing, and more. Performances fire up all day, so grab some fair food and let these talented entertainers blow your mind.
The Vagina Monologues, The Virginia Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $9.50-22.50
Hear from 70+ performers from all backgrounds in this local, gender-inclusive performance of Eve Ensler's award-winning play. Not only will you hear stories on women's issues and experiences and yes, vaginas, by attending you will be supporting Courage Connection. There are three levels of ticket prices and you can purchase online or by calling the Virginia Theatre box office. Grab a friend and go see this important show! (JM)
Spandrels, Blips + Chitz, $5, 8 pm, All Ages
Spandrels is a new-ish local band with some local superstars (Isaac Arms of Withershins, Christine Pallon of La Louve), and this weekend, they'll bring their tasty shoegazey jams to Champaign-Urbana's house venues. Sounds about perfect for a C-U music fan on a Friday. (BH)
Big Mo and the Phat Groove, Blackbird Urbana, 9 pm
I don't usually do this, but this week in Urbana I'm giving my recommendation for a show based purely on the band's name. This is easily the best-named band to play in Champaign-Urbana in recent memory, and that along should pique your interest. Plus, funk music is awesome. Let's get rowdy. (BH)
SATURDAY, August 26th
Parkland Theatre Auditions, Parkland College Theatre Lobby, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
If you're interested in being a thespian, there is no better place in the C-U community than Parkland College, which puts on a plethora of quality productions every year. Now's your chance to get involved! Stop by the theatre on Saturday morning to audition. (BH)
More family-friendly drinking. Spark Museum + Play Café, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Spark Museum + Play Café in Urbana is a kid-focused café in the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. There’s plenty of room for littles to run around and toys to keep them engaged while mom and dad enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage. The menu is stacked with healthy salads, sandwiches, and snacks and plenty of options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free eaters. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon when your kid needs to run around and you need to unwind. (DT)
Opening Day, Flying Monkey Cafe at Curtis Orchard, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., prices vary
Curtis Orchard has been open for some time, but the Flying Monkey Cafe opens for the season this weekend. There are plenty of lunch options, including pulled pork, Italian beef, and chili, and presumably you can also snag some apple cider/apple cider doughnuts — if not in the cafe, then certainly in the adjoining store. More info is available on Facebook. Photo from Facebook. (JH)
Farmer's Share Meal at Riggs Brewing, 4-7 p.m.
Head to Riggs Brewing for a Farmer's Share meal. Learn about agriculture, touch a tractor, enjoy a pork chop, and visit with friends and farmers. $1 per meal. Meal includes pork chop, chips, and water or soda. (CR)
Fay Ray, Crofton Coleman & The Amber Sky, Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 p.m., $7
Fay Ray is the new name of a band you are likely somewhat familiar with — Church Booty — and they return to C-U for this show with one of the best and brightest of the scene, Crofton Coleman. Him and his band the Amber Sky join at Cowboy Monkey this Saturday night. (PS)
SUNDAY, August 27th
Matsuri, Japan House, 3-8 p.m., price varies
Japan House at the University of Illinois' Matsuri Festival is happening on Sunday — tons of food, music, and more all with a Japanese cultural twist. You can buy tickets in advance for food and drink here, and check out last year's recap video to get a taste for what this event is all about. (PS)
Order food for your Game of Thrones season finale watching party, before 8 p.m., prices vary
I think just about everyone watches Game of Thrones — willingly or un. The penultimate season's season finale is here, and what better way to celebrate the 81-minute episode than with friends and food? Order something that can allow for stress eating: Vinny's pizza is a solid option; Manolo's has pizza and empanadas; both are perfectly chased by cakes, cookies, and desserts (Hopscotch is open on Sundays!). Check out OrderUp or Grub Hub for more delivery options. Photo by Jessica Hammie. (JH)
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.