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Sitara has officially reopened

After being closed for a long stretch of time (some of which due to this fire), Downtown Urbana's Indian restaurant Sitara has officially reopened. Obviously, this is great news to hear.

Unless their hours have changed, their typical hours are listed below.

Urbana Love has confirmed the news as per their Instagram:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sitara has reopened again #indian #restaurant #urbanalove #chambana

A post shared by urbanalove (@urbana.love) on

Plus, here's a photo of them doin' their thing:


Photo provided by Jarvis Kim

Sitara Indian Restaurant & Lounge
114 S Race St
Urbana, Illinois 61801
M-Su 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4:30-10 p.m.

Top photo by Bob Yoon

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Krannert Center announced its 2019-2020 Youth Series

KCPA curates their schedule each year to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, and kids are no exception. They do a great job of bringing in performers across the arts spectrum to hook those youngsters into the arts at an early age. The series kicks off on May 8th with a Season Preview and Educator Appreciation event where teachers, administrators, and others who work with youth can see what's coming up, and place advance ticket orders, and those tickets are just $5 each thanks to Krannert's Campaign for Young Audiences and Youth Series endowments. 

Here is the full slate of performances, from the press release:

Bizhiki Culture & Dance Company

We-Th Sep 18-19, 2019, at 10am | Tryon Festival Theatre • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 1-5

Intricate storytelling, a blending of traditional and contemporary song and dance, and a deep connection to to traditional ecological knowledge form the heart of Bizhiki Culture & Dance Company. Krannert Center is joined by the University of Illinois Native American House for this powerful, intriguing, and informative powwow dance exhibit—a beautiful representation of the company’s commitment to public engagement, education, and to furthering the understanding of Indigenous cultures, resiliency, and revitalization. Powwow dance categories including traditional, jingle, and woodlands will all highlight the artistry and athleticism of these present-day dance styles.

Isango Ensemble: Aesop’s Fables

Tu-We Oct 1-2, 2019, at 10am | Tryon Festival Theatre • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 1-5

Isango Ensemble came to life in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2000—the creation of director Mark Dornford-May and music director Pauline Malefane, who draw artists from surrounding townships to reimagine the Western theatre canon within a South African setting. Isango Ensemble brought Krannert Center audiences joyfully to their feet in 2014, and the company returns to the Center with its vibrant and comedic turn on Aesop’s Fables. Based on a brilliant script from playwright Peter Terson, the expressive tale portrays the ancient Greek story of a servant on a journey to Mount Olympus, contextualized in the recent history of South Africa and sung in English, Tswana, and Zulu. Travel with Aesop as he encounters a host of colorful animal characters such as the tortoise and the hare and learns the balance of liberty and responsibility in this contemporary, playfully energetic, and beautifully rendered music, theatre, and dance production.

Trick of the Light Theatre: The Bookbinder

We-Fr Nov 6-8, 2019, at 10am and 12:30pm | Studio Theatre • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 3 and up

They say you can get lost in a good book. But it’s worse to get lost in a bad one. . . .

And so begins the magically intriguing journey of The Bookbinder created by the inventive artists of New Zealand’s award-winning Trick of the Light Theatre. This one-person show, written by Ralph McCubbin Howell and directed by Hannah Smith, pays homage to old-world fairy tale traditions with touches of darkness, mystery, and high-stakes daring as an apprentice bookbinder gets rather too engaged in his work. Trick of the Light employs puppetry, shadow play, music, and paper art, all bound together in a mayhem-filled fable for curious children and adventurous adults.

Harlem 100—Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance

Featuring Mwenso and the Shakes with special guests Brianna Thomas, Michela Marino Lerman, and Vuyo Sotashe

Th Nov 14, 2019, at 10am and 12:30pm | Colwell Playhouse • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 4 and up

Join Mwenso and the Shakes in this celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. This unique troupe of global artists presents music that merges the highest level of entertainment and artistry while commanding a formidable timeline of jazz and blues expression through African and Afro American music.

Created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, this multimedia show captures the sights and sounds of Harlem when legendary artists such as Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, and Billie Holiday made Harlem the cultural center of the country. Hosted by Michael Mwenso, Harlem 100 presents the most exciting Harlem musicians and dancers in a modern variety show and pays homage to the presentations made famous in the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, and other celebrated venues of the Harlem Renaissance.

Brush Theatre: Yao Yao

We-Th Jan 22-23, 2020, at 10am and 12:30pm, and Fr Jan 24, 2020 at 10am | Studio Theatre • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades PreK-2

Yao is a mischievous little girl who delights in time spent with her father. But she’s disappointed every morning when her dad must don his suit and briefcase and head to work. One ordinary morning, Yao grabs onto his overcoat and accidently pulls a thread that unravels a charming adventure. Through this spirited blend of reality and fantasy that incorporates shadow-play, pantomime, live music, and digital media, audiences of all ages will go on a journey with this endearing Seoul-based theatre troupe to see where the thread ends!

Step Afrika!: Drumfolk

Th-Fr Feb 6-7, 2020, at 10am | Colwell Playhouse • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 3 and up

On the heels of its critically acclaimed work, The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence, Step Afrika! introduces Drumfolk, a high-energy exploration of the drum as an instrument of community, resilience, and determination. Drumfolk is the second work by Step Afrika! that chronicles and celebrates the African-American experience in America. Grounded in extensive research and over two decades of percussive practice and investigation, Drumfolk reveals hidden histories and events that transformed American life and experience.

Cirque FLIP Fabrique: Blizzard

Mo Feb 24, 2020, at 10am and 12:30pm, and Tu Feb 25, 2020, at 10am | Colwell Playhouse • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 3 and up

In the midst of a Midwestern deep freeze, perhaps you’ve asked yourself—has winter taken over? Has the frost crept across the fields, down the streets, maybe right into our very homes or even our own hearts? Québec’s youthful, fearless, masterful Cirque FLIP Fabrique asks just that in a magically poetic, cirque-style expedition that’s taking worldwide stages by storm! As live music sparkles in the air, snowballs soar aloft and are met with high-flying acrobatics, remarkable contortions, and the curious possibilities that become clear just when it looks like white-out conditions have arrived. Bundle up and come join us!

Cahoots NI: Penguins

Tu Mar 10, 2020 at 10am, We-Th Mar 11-12, 2020, at 10am and 12:30pm | Studio Theatre • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades PreK-3

New York City’s Central Park Zoo is home to myriad animals from throughout the world—including a special pair of bonded male penguins who delight in their big-city life by walking, playing, swimming, and dancing together. When the duo attempts to “hatch” a rock, a zookeeper gives them an abandoned egg instead, and thus begins a little family adventure. Northern Ireland’s Cahoots NI returns to Krannert Center with a enchanting and heartfelt tale, filled with music, dance, and non-verbal theatre and based on a true story about love and the ever-evolving meaning of family. A co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Prime Theatre.

TAO: Drum Heart

We-Th Mar 11-12, 2020, at 10am | Tryon Festival Theatre • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 4 and up

The performers who take the stage for TAO are both highly trained athletes and highly expressive artists. TAO’s modern, high-energy performances showcasing the ancient art of Japanese drumming have transfixed audiences worldwide. Combining ultra-physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes, dynamic choreography, and innovative visuals, the performers of TAO create an unforgettable production. Established in Japan’s Aichi region in 1995, TAO’s creative production center is now on Kyushu Island, site of the legendary Aso Kuju National Park.

Slingsby Theatre: Emil and the Detectives

Tu-We May 5-6, 2020, at 10am and 12:30pm | Colwell Playhouse • $5/Ticket 

Recommended for grades 3-6

Young Emil catches a train to visit family, but something valuable is stolen from him, and Emil ends up alone in the big city, lost and rather desperate. A group of quick-thinking and resourceful children rallies around, and the thief soon discovers Emil was not such an easy target. Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the criminal? 

Emil and the Detectives is a journey about exploration and self-discovery, the value of friendships and taking risks, and the empowerment of young people.

 Photo provided by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

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Avionics has an updated food menu

Starting next week, Avionics will have a slightly smaller food menu, and the kitchen will only open until 2 p.m. Some of the tried and true favorites are still on the menu (egg sandwich and avocado stack, for instance). Weekend brunch resumes at the end of May. 

Check it out more details and the menu below:

Top photo by Jessica Hammie

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Celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up Kickapoo Rail Trail

Champaign County Forest Preserve District is looking for some volunteers to do spring clean up of Kickapoo Rail Trail on April 22nd, Earth Day.

There are two shifts, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. No need to sign up, just show up at the west end of the trail in the Urbana Walmart parking lot at the beginning of the shift to get instructions and supplies. If you can stay the full two hours, great! If not, that's okay too. A bunch of kids have the day off on Monday and they can come, but must be accompanied by an adult. Be sure to watch the weather so you can dress appropriately, and closed toe shoes are a must. 

If you have any questions, you can contact volunteer@ccfpd.org.

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Parkland has a ton of summer offerings for kids and teens

Summer is approaching quickly, and if you are someone who has kids living under your roof that means they will be home. All the time. Complaining about how bored they are. 

I feel like Parkland's College for Kids is a pretty well-known program throughout the community, and every time I peruse the class selections I'm amazed at all they offer: Chinese, app creation, movie making, improv, to throw a few examples out there.

However, I only recently became aware of how teens can benefit from Parkland programming in the summer. As the parent of a tween and teen, I often hear laments about the lack of structured summer activities for that age group. Admittedly, once kids reach that age they are generally over being signed up for stuff by their parents. BUT, Parkland has some summer camps that cover super specific topics, that could get some kids checking out career fields they may not have considered: Land surveying, welding, CSI, collision repair...you can see the full list here.

Photo from Facebook

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Go on an Easter egg hunt at C-U Adventures this weekend

This weekend the folks at Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space are getting into the spirit of Easter weekend with their own style of Easter egg hunt. 

Do any of the rooms Friday through Sunday and there will be a special Easter egg hidden somewhere in the room. Knowing how difficult some of their clues can be, I'm gonna guess you'll have to muster all of your searching skills.

If you find the egg you will be entered into a drawing for some great prizes including escape room discounts, T-shirts, and the big one — a free game for up to 10 people. 

You can book your rooms here

Photo by Anna Longworth

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You can drink beer at Illinois Field now

The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced a couple of weeks ago that Memorial Stadium and State Farm Center will soon have beer for sale, and beginning this weekend you'll be able to purchase it at Illinois Field as well. A welcome addition, in my opinion. Beer and baseball are friends. 

Here are all of the details from fightingillini.com:

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. --The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) will sell beer at the remainder of its home baseball games beginning Friday, April 19 against Penn State. Beer will be sold at the concession stand.

Illinois Field first sold beer during last year's Bleacher Bum BBQ when more than 3,000 fans came out to see Illinois play Ohio State on a Friday night. Unlike last year's Bleacher Bum, beer will now be allowed throughout the facility instead of confined to a tented area.

DIA's concessionaire, Spectra, will be responsible for maintaining the liquor license for all DIA venues, along with coordinating the proper training of concession workers for beer sales. Beer will be priced at $5 and $6.

The below policies will be among those enforced as part of a complete alcohol management plan:

Valid ID is required for purchase. All guests must be 21 years of age to purchase alcoholic beverages.
A limit of two beers purchased at one time per legal ID.
Outside drinks will no longer be permitted at Illinois Field.
Beer sales will be suspended after the middle of the seventh inning.
Beer will be sold in aluminum cans and bottles. Recycling receptacles will be available around the facility.
DIA previously announced that it will add beer to public concession options in general seating areas at Memorial Stadium and State Farm Center beginning in the fall of 2019.

"We are continually looking for ways to improve fan engagement and augment our in-game fan experience," said UI Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. "The opportunity to purchase beer at our events was the number one request in a postseason survey of our football ticket holders. Fans indicated beer sales would encourage their use of purchased tickets and would increase the length of time they stayed in the stands. Schools with public beer sales generally see fewer alcohol-related issues. We have spoken with several peer institutions offering beer to ensure we are following best practices for implementing this change. We have studied the issue extensively and, with the collaboration and support of our colleagues in various offices across campus, we feel now is the right time to add this new element to our game-day experience."

Photo from fightingillini.com

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You can buy Dancing Dog’s ketchup at Harvest Market

Dancing Dog has recently started bottling its house made ketchup, and it's now available to purchase at Harvest Market ($4.79). The ketchup is obviously vegan, because all ketchup is vegan (unless it's made with honey, which is uncommon). It's very cool to see local restaurants getting shelf space in grocery stores. This is Dancing Dog's first retail product. 

Top image from Facebook
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Crudo is offering an Easter Brunch this Sunday

This Sunday, Crudo Wine Bar will be offering their own version of a Sunday brunch. With the purchase of $15 bottomless Mimosas (in a variety of flavors), you can enjoy their brunch bites buffet for just $1. The bites will be provided by Nando, naturally. 

Brunch is happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will also feature various Bloody Mary options. 

We all know that the booze is the real reason to go to out for brunch, so if you want something that's a bit more booze than breakfast, this is the place to be!