FRIDAY, July 20th


OUTSIDE at the Research Park, 1816 S Oak St, Champaign, 6:30 p.m., free

It is hard to believe that we're ready for another installment of Krannert Center's OUTSIDE at the Research Park series — I can't believe we're this far along in 2018. The legendary blues artist Marcia Ball headlines this summer's OUTSIDE show, Krannert Center's annual throw down across town from the walls of their facility. This free and family-friendly show is a good way to kick off your weekend, without question. (PS) Top photo by Anna Longworth

Champaign County Fair, all weekend, 1302 N. Coler, Urbana, prices vary

The fair kicks off this weekend with events like stock car racing and the demolition derby, which may or may not be your thing, but there are other aspects to enjoy. Fair food is pretty much my number one reason for going. Give me a corn dog/funnel cake/curly fries/lemon shakeup and I'm good to go. For those who do rides (or have kids that do) there's a ride pass day on Saturday. It's also kind of cool to go browse the 4-H exhibits and see what local kids have spent their summers working on. Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under, grandstand events and ride costs vary. Check the website for day to day specifics. (JM)

SATURDAY, July 21st

Buy and eat peaches, Urbana’s Market at the Square, 7 a.m. to noon (but get there early), about $8

Now is the perfect time to buy some peaches at the market. I always go to the market super early to get peach seconds (the ugly ones) to make pie or cobbler. But it’s also worth getting some pretty ones that are a little firm for grilling. Grilled peaches are delicious. Throw them in a salad, or toss some warm ones on ice cream and finish with a little honey and cinnamon. It’s the best summer treat. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Mid-American Gardener Road-Show, Urbana's Market at the Square, 9 to 11 a.m., free

While you're getting all the peaches, stop by the WILL tent to get gardening tips from new Mid-American Gardener host Tinisha Shade-Spain and other local experts. Bring your photos, problems, questions and get advice from the experts. (JM)

Umoja Youth Art Workshop with Sekani Reed, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 2 p.m., free

If you aren’t familiar with artist Sekani Kenyatta Reed or the Independent Media Center’s artist-in-residence program, then this weekend is a chance for you to get familiar and if you happen to 9-18 years old, then also, get painting. Reed will teach a two hour, free, workshop for youth this Saturday at the IMC. This young and enthusiastic artist is currently based out of Chicago and the C-U. These workshops are a great way for young artists to engage with one another and share ideas. Supported by a grant from the Urbana Public Arts Program, free workshops make art education more accessible to everyone! Photo from Facebook. (AB)


Thoroughly Modern Millie, Harold and Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College, 7 p.m., $7-$14/person

Don’t miss out and make sure to catch one of the UPD Youth Summer Theatre’s take on the Broadway hit Thoroughly Modern Millie. The story follows young Millie Dillmount’s journey to New York City in 1922. Searching for love, security, and leisure afforded by wealth, Millie finds things to be a bit different than she had originally envisioned. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling (217) 367-1544. The whole family will enjoy the music and dancing of youth performers throughout the community. Photo from Facebook. (AB)

Watch Coco at the pool, Crystal Lake Family Aquatic Center, 8:15 to 11:15 p.m., $4-$9/person

Have you seen Coco yet? I can make a very strong case for it being the best movie of the last year—it’s a visual stunning piece of animation that touches on the importance of family and legacy, and being true to yourself. You won’t need to bring tissues if you are in the pool at Crystal Lake; just splash a little water on your face periodically, and no one will know any different. Specifics are on Facebook. (JH)

SUNDAY, July 22nd

Farmhouse brewery field day, Big Thorn Farm & Brewery, Georgetown, 2 to 5 p.m., $15

The Land Connection is offering the second in their Women Who Farm series at Big Thorn Farm & Brewery. Take a tour with co-owner Anna Shweig and learn about the home grown botanicals she grows for their sustainable farm and brewery. It's kind of a cool opportunity as the farm is not typically open to the public. Refreshments will be provided, and you can purchase your ticket here. (JM) Photo from Facebook

Sounds at Sunset, Kaufman Park, 6 p.m., free

Champaign Park District's Sounds at Sunset features Hot Iron String Band for this free show on Sunday evening. The series rotates to different parks, this time around it is at Kaufman Park, and next weekend you can check out Desafinado at Eisner Park. (PS)


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.